The Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand (FPSC) today formally announces the retirement of Dr Michael R Butcher from the FPSC Board of Directors. Dr Butcher was appointed to the FPSC Board of Directors when the Centre was established in May 2014. Since that time the Dr Butcher and the Board of Directors have guided the FPSC through its first year of operation and also overseen delivery of the Centre’s first two research projects, the Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety and the Understanding the Gaps Food Safety Literature Review.

Dr Butcher explains: “Food safety has always been the unspoken goal for fresh produce producers but high profile food safety failures throughout the world in recent years have created a perception this may not be the case. Most human illness causing pathogens are readily found in the environment and food safety breaches are relatively few given the vast volumes of fresh produce consumed worldwide on a daily basis.

The FPSC is about providing a one-stop-shop for the best possible fresh produce food safety advice to the industry in Australia and New Zealand. Saying that you follow food safety requirements is no longer good enough and producers are increasingly being required to prove their produce is safe for consumption.   The Board and staff of FPSC are dedicated to ensuring producers have the best possible information available and the recently released ‘Guidelines‘ document is key to this process.”

Fellow Board member Associate Professor Robyn McConchie says ” Dr Butcher has provided valuable insight and service to the Board in its inaugural phase, especially ensuring that the activities of the FPSC reflect industry priorities in both New Zealand and Australia.”

Dr Butcher’s retirement from the FPSC board of directors follows his retirement from his role as technical manager of market access at Pipfruit NZ. Dr Butcher was awarded an outstanding achievement award in 2014 recognizing 15 years of service to the apple and pear industry in New Zealand.