NEWARK, Del. -- Officials from the Produce Marketing Association here expressed disappointment last week over the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association's rejection of PMA's merger proposal.
onsider a joint "SuperProduce" convention that would be operated by both entities. (For a story on United's rejection, see Page 1.)
Gargiulo said PMA is still willing to negotiate with United to form a single national produce association. The two associations will meet Oct. 14, during PMA's annual convention and exposition in San Diego, and will discuss the issue then.
Gargiulo said the non-negotiable principles PMA laid out to United would be "the foundation of a merged association." "We want to make it clear now as we did to the UFFVA leadership at our meeting in Santa Barbara Aug. 19 that we are open to negotiation on what is built on this foundation: what the building actually looks like," Gargiulo said. "PMA remains committed to the process of negotiation, and our door is open wide," he said.
The non-negotiable points for PMA include a rejection of a separate government relations division for a merged entity. Gargiulo said PMA and United have very similar ideas about what a merged association should look like. The only difference hinges on PMA's belief that no single organization can effectively lobby Congress for both suppliers and buyers of produce, he said.