Trevor Suslow named PMA VP of food safety

Trevor Suslow, Ph.D., will join Produce Marketing Association (PMA) as vice president of food safety in October, bringing his produce safety experience and reputation to help identify, design and deliver food safety value to the association’s members around the world.

Suslow will engage with members and other industry, coalitions, regulators and the food safety community to educate and advocate for a risk- and science-based approach to produce safety. Suslow will also work with researchers to facilitate produce safety research that can be translated into industry best practices, including representing PMA on Center for Produce Safety’s (CPS) Technical Committee, on which he has served since its inception. Suslow will report to PMA Chief Science & Technology Officer Bob Whitaker, Ph.D.

“In addition to being well known and respected among industry and produce safety circles, Trevor brings an incredibly deep knowledge base, insights and ideas that complement the leadership PMA has taken on food safety,” said PMA CEO Cathy Burns. “His perspectives and connections will help us fulfill our mission and vision to grow a healthier world for industry and consumers alike. I am delighted to welcome him to PMA’s team.”

“At this point in my career, I feel this position will provide me the platform to have the greatest impact on technical leadership for PMA members, the broader industry and affiliated stakeholders, as well as best serve the produce industry’s commitment to protect consumers around the globe,” said Suslow.

According to PMA, Suslow is widely recognized as a produce safety expert by industry, academia, government and media. He joins PMA from the University of California-Davis, where as extension research specialist he has been researching, advising and educating industry and other stakeholders on postharvest safety and quality.

A plant pathologist by training, Suslow has concentrated his career on safeguarding and enhancing the quality and safety of whole and fresh-cut produce. He earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences, and master’s and doctorate degrees in plant pathology, from the University of California, Berkeley. He then helped found and worked as a staff scientist and director of product research at DNA Plant Technology Inc., an early agricultural biotechnology pioneer. Suslow joined UC-Davis in 1995, and has led the university’s Postharvest Technology Center since 2016.

Suslow and Whitaker have worked together previously at DNA Plant Technology, where Whitaker led research and development. Whitaker was the first chairperson of CPS’s Technical Committee, and now sits on CPS’s Board of Directors.

“An important challenge to enhancing produce safety is reaching those who need to be aware and who need to understand what the science is telling us,” said Bob Whitaker. “Trevor has the knowledge in and passion for the subject, and has a proven track record as a produce safety educator who can translate the science of produce safety for stakeholders from field labor to industry CEOs.”

Suslow will start as PMA’s vice president of food safety on Oct. 1, working from Davis, California.

For more information:
Cassidy Taylor
Produce Marketing Association
Tel: +1 (302) 781-5852

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