Press Release

IFPA to Collaborate with the Delta USDA Regional Food Business Center to Create a Diverse and Resilient Food System in the Region

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May 12, 2023

Washington, DC and Newark, DE – The International Fresh Produce Association is pleased to announce it will collaborate with the Delta USDA Regional Food Business Center led by the Mississippi Delta Council for Farm Worker Opportunities.  The Delta Regional Food Business Center is one of 12 such centers that received support from the USDA to create a more equitable and sustainable food system in the region by providing historically underserved, socially disadvantaged farmers and business owners in these regions with the coordination, technical assistance and capacity building resources necessary to build a thriving business and supply chain.  

IFPA Chief Education and Program Officer, Doug Bohr, who will play a role in the Delta USDA Regional Food Business Center, shared the association’s excitement about being a collaborator for the project. “IFPA seeks to create a vibrant future for all.  One of the ways we will do so is by supporting equitable and inclusive business practices that leverage the full and rich diversity of our industry, drive members’ business performance, and increases consumer access and consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables.”   

In its role as a project collaborator, IFPA will focus on its three core activities: advocate, connect and guide.  More specifically, IFPA will seek to inform the project by providing evidence-based, informed action on behalf of project stakeholders, members, and industry. The organization will convene and connect businesses across the supply chain, from farm to foodservice and retail, to enhance business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing.  IFPA will share research, knowledge, and subject matter expertise to help members identify solutions and adopt best practices in food safety, technology, supply chain management, sustainability, talent development, business operations, and marketing. 

As noted in the USDA’s announcement: “Collectively, the organizations selected to lead each Center reflect an impressive cross-section of the varied institutions, organizations, and associations that must cooperate to achieve genuinely strong and distributed food systems. These organizations are engaging with grassroots food and farm organizations and employing a range of creative strategies to build food system resiliency.”  

“IFPA is grateful to the Mississippi Delta Council for Farm Worker Opportunities and its Delta USDA Regional Food Business Center partners and to the USDA, Under Secretary Moffitt and Secretary Vilsack for the opportunity to contribute to this meaningful work,” Bohr added. “We recognize that significant public and private resources have and will be invested in this and other Regional Food Business Centers. We are looking forward to our role in advancing this important work.”

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