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PMA and United Fresh to merge in 2022

PMA and United Fresh to merge in 2022


The boards of directors of the Produce Marketing Association and the United Fresh Produce Association have reached an agreement in principle to combine the groups by the beginning of 2022. Previous high-profile efforts to merge the two national produce associations fell short in 2012, 2007 and 1995. 

The next step will involve deciding a new name for the combined association, according to a press release. The resulting new association from the merger of United Fresh and PMA will combine resources and expertise to enhance member services, increase advocacy before government and the public, help members grow their businesses, and drive consumption of fresh produce and demand for floral products as a vital cornerstone of public health.

The two associations will continue to operate as independent organisations through 2021, with the new association to be launched January 1st 2022.  

Board chairmen Michael Muzyk of United Fresh and Dwight Ferguson of PMA said in the release: “This agreement reflects the ongoing commitment of both associations to deliver the highest level of value to members. Looking ahead, we believe we can accomplish that goal better together, building on the synergies and experience of our expert staffs, complementary education programs and member services, and a stronger voice in advocating for our industries.”

The new association will be led jointly by Burns and Stenzel as co-CEOs throughout 2022. After that time, Burns will become the sole CEO, according to release.

Stenzel said in the release: “Through my 28 years of service to our industry, I have long recognised the potential synergies of our groups building something powerful together. It is gratifying to me several years before my retirement to find a strong and committed partner in Cathy who also believes in this shared vision.  I’m looking forward to launching this new organization together, setting the stage to enhance member value while driving greater produce consumption in the years ahead.”

Burns said in the release: “Tom has been a great partner, and I truly appreciate his deep history, knowledge, and care for our industry. We, along with our talented teams, look forward to leveraging our strengths to serve our diverse and complex supply chain. I am so proud and honoured to serve the produce and floral community at such a pivotal time in our history.”

Over the coming months, Burns and Stenzel will work with their teams and board leaders to build out the new organisation. Concurrently, the two associations will begin sharing their expertise and promoting participation in each other’s events and programmes. It is anticipated that the volunteer leadership, governance and membership structure, and 2022 business plan for the new association will be in place and shared with the membership in autumn 2021, according to the organisations.


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Total Produce combines with Dole Food Company to become sector’s largest player

Total Produce & Dole Food

Today Total Produce and Dole Food Company have announced a binding transaction agreement to combine under a newly created US-listed company: Dole PLC. This will make Dole PLC the world’s number-one fresh produce company with an estimated combined 2020 revenue of approximately US$9.7 billion, and total assets of approximately US$4.5 billion.

Total Produce acquired a 45% stake in Dole for US$300m in July 2018, and this transaction consideration for the remaining 55% stake equates to US$250m. The transaction will simplify the existing structure between the two companies by unifying Dole and Total Produce under common ownership, with the objective of enabling full operational integration, realisation of synergies and value creation across the enlarged business. Under the terms of the agreement, Total Produce shareholders will receive 82.5% of Dole PLC shares and the C&C shareholders will receive 17.5% of Dole PLC shares, in each case based on the fully diluted outstanding shares immediately prior to the completion of the Transaction.


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Sainsbury’s and Asda hit back at claims merger would harm customers

Sainsbury’s records strong sales but foresees challenges ahead

Following criticism last month from the Competition and Markets Authority about the impact on customer choice and prices of Sainsbury’s and Asda merging, Mike Coupe, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, and Asda’s chief executive, Roger Burnley have issued a joint statement contesting the authority’s findings and stressing the benefits for customers regarding savings :

“We are trying to bring our businesses together so that we can help millions of customers make significant savings on their shopping and their fuel costs, two of their biggest regular outgoings. We are committing to reducing prices by £1bn per year by the third year which would reduce prices by around 10% on everyday items. We are happy to be held to account for delivering on this commitment and to have our performance independently reviewed and to publish this annually”.

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Shadow cast over merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda

Asda trials removal of plastic fruit and veg bags 

The merger between giant UK supermarket chains Sainsbury’s and Asda is in serious doubt following an appraisal by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which said customers could see higher prices and less choice if the two companies combined. The value of Sainsbury’s shares plummeted 15% after the announcement by UK’s competition watchdog, which said the deal could be blocked deal or that it may force the sale of a large number of stores or even one of the brand names. In its provisional report on the proposed merger, the CMA added that it was likely to be difficult for the chains to address the concerns and that the merger could lead to a poorer shopping experience. The CEO of Sainsbury called the findings “outrageous”.