27 May 2014

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre Limited officially opened its doors for business today.

The first meeting of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre’s Board of Directors occurred this morning, following registration of the new company limited by guarantee with ASIC yesterday.

The Centre is being hosted by the University of Sydney under a project with the Produce Marketing Association of Australia and New Zealand (PMA A-NZ).

The new Directors of the Centre elected Michael Worthington as the interim Chair of the Board.  The seven Directors of the FPSC Board are:
•    Dr Michael Butcher, Pipfruit NZ Inc. (based in New Zealand)
•    Ms Allison Clark, Houston’s Farm (based in Tasmania)
•    Mr Joseph Ekman, Fresh Produce Group (based in NSW)
•    Ms Belinda Hazell, Optimum Standard (based in Tasmania)
•    Dr Robyn McConchie, University of Sydney (based in NSW)
•    Ms Catherine Richardson, Zespri International (based in New Zealand)
•    Mr Michael Worthington, CEO PMA A-NZ (based in Victoria)

Biographies on each of the Directors can be found at the Centre’s website:

The Board Directors issued a joint statement as follows:

“We are proud and excited to announce the formal establishment of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre yesterday.

“We look forward to working with all sectors of the fresh produce supply chain, from growers, input suppliers, processors, packers, transport, wholesalers/agents, retailers, through to peak industry bodies, quality assurance, compliance and training organisations, researchers and research institutions, extension and outreach personnel and others.

“The Fresh Produce Safety Centre has been established to address an important gap in our industry: to promote research, outreach and education on fresh produce safety throughout Australia and New Zealand.

“We wouldn’t have been able to achieve that had it not been for the support of industry: twenty organisations throughout the Australian and New Zealand fresh produce value chains and associated sectors recognising the need to address fresh produce food safety and financially backing the Centre’s establishment.

“Most sincere thanks go to our founding supporters who pledged funding for the establishment of the Centre: to these organisations we say thank you and we look forward to achieving a multifold return on investment for our industry from your generous support.

“We also recognise the generous investment by HAL and the Australian Government through matching funds, through a project to establish the Centre with the University of Sydney and PMA A-NZ.”

Professor Mark Adams, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at the University, which is hosting the Centre, said: “The University of Sydney is delighted to host the new Fresh Produce Safety Centre: we see the Centre as the embodiment of the University’s desire to reach out to industry, identify research gaps and address research priorities in fresh produce safety.”

Michael Worthington, Director and CEO PMA A-NZ, a founding partner of the Centre, said: “PMA A-NZ has long recognized the gap in food safety in Australia and New Zealand: we are delighted to be supporting this truly trans-Tasman initiative.”

The Centre’s goals are to:
•    Call for and manage food safety research projects that are highly relevant to industry
•    Provide food safety information, news, education and outreach to the industry
•    Engage with regulatory and other organisations for effective and efficient food safety management leading to enhanced food safety outcomes.

The Centre’s founding supporters are:

Platinum supporters: Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd | PMA Australia-New Zealand Limited | University of Sydney | Woolworths Ltd

Silver supporters: Freshcare Limited | Harris Farm Markets Pty Ltd | Horticulture New Zealand | Perfection Fresh Australia Pty Ltd | Primo Moraitis Fresh Pty Limited

Bronze supporters: Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA) | Chamber of Fruit & Vegetable Industries in Western Australia (Inc) | GS1 Australia Ltd | Kalfresh Pty Ltd | Living Foods NZ | MG Marketing Limited and LaManna Limited | Mulgowie Farming Company | OneHarvest Pty Ltd | Premier Fruits Group Pty Ltd | Sci Qual International Pty Ltd | TQA Australia

The Fresh Produce Safety Conference: Accelerating Australian & New Zealand Food Safety Research, will be held at the University of Sydney on 11 August 2014. For more information please visit

The FPSC has been funded by Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) using voluntary contributions from industry and matched funds from the Australian Government.

For further information please contact FPSC interim Executive Director Emma Walters on +61 02 8627 1058 / +61 419 204 454 or interim Chair Michael Worthington on +61 03 8844 5536.

Lab Photo

Fresh Produce Safety Centre interim Chair Michael Worthington (centre), with interim Executive Director Emma Walters (left) and FPSC director Assoc Prof Robyn McConchie (right) from the University of Sydney, which is hosting the Centre.