PMA A-NZ - Food Safety

The most important challenge facing the produce industry today is the safety of the world's produce supply, followed by the need to grow consumer confidence in the industry. 

On behalf of our members, PMA A-NZ is taking an active role in enhancing the safety and security of produce across the Australia-New Zealand region. But it doesn't stop there. Globally, the Produce Marketing Association is enhancing the safety and security of the world's produce and explaining the "why" and "how" of food safety to businesses and consumers by translating complex concepts or technologies into real-world solutions. 


PMA A-NZ Resources

PMA A-NZ is committed to providing our members with the food safety tools you need to better safeguard your products, your consumers and your company – across the supply chain. Find out more about the latest resources and upcoming events featuring information on food safety by clicking the buttons below. 



PMA A-NZ Technology Manager, Richard Bennett

With over two decades of experience championing the improved understanding and adoption of food safety and quality management in the fresh produce sector, our Technology Manager, Richard Bennett is our in-house expert on all areas of food safety, traceability and technology. He works closely with the University of Sydney's Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, and industry stakeholders at the Fresh Produce Safety Centre for Australia and New Zealand.

Prior to commencing his role with PMA A-NZ, Richard was the Product Integrity Manager for Horticulture Australia (HAL), a role which revolved around protecting consumer and supply chain confidence in the integrity of fresh and processed horticultural food products. He worked closely with HAL members – 43 peak industry bodies – on quality assurance, food safety, environmental management, product standards and specifications, product identification and traceability, business continuity, compliance issues and crisis management. He also managed a portfolio of product integrity research and development projects from initial assessment through to contracting, milestone reporting and final reporting.

Richard has had a full career working in numerous aspects of horticulture including in the nursery, seed and fruit processing industries, as an industry development officer, trainer, agronomist and executive officer for a number of fruit grower associations, and providing technical support to the marketing team at the Australian Horticultural Corporation. He has qualifications in orchard management, applied science, agribusiness and food safety. 

Check out Richard's Food Safety Blog

Richard is a regular contributor to the PMA A-NZ blog

Ask Richard

Richard is regarded as a go-to person on quality assurance, food safety, environmental management, product standards and specifications, product identification and traceability, business continuity, compliance issues and crisis management. Contact.



Fresh Produce Safety Centre - Australia & New Zealand (FPSC)

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre Ltd is an industry-led, not-for-profit company established to enhance fresh produce food safety across Australia and New Zealand through research, outreach and education.

The Centre is funded and led by the fresh produce industries in Australia and New Zealand. It has been established by the Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ) through a project with the University of Sydney. This project is funded by Horticulture Australia Limited with voluntary and in-kind contributions from industry, the University and PMA A-NZ, demonstrating widespread support for the Centre. The Centre is based at the Faculty of Agriculture & Environment at the University of Sydney and affiliated with the Center for Produce Safety at the University of California (Davis).

The Centre’s goals are to:
  • Call for and oversee food safety research projects that are highly relevant to industry
  • Provide food safety information, news, education and outreach to the industry
  • Engage with regulatory and other organisations for effective and efficient food safety management leading to enhanced food safety outcomes. 
Why is the FPSC important?

Australia and New Zealand have an enviable record in supplying consumers in domestic and export markets with safe and healthy food and it is critical that we maintain that reputation. The FPSC will ensure that we remain proactive and vigilant in every aspect of food safety with every sector of our fresh produce industries and the associated regulatory authorities involved at all times.

How do the FPSC and PMA A-NZ interact?

PMA A-NZ continue to be strongly involved in the strategic direction of the FPSC, with Michael Worthington on its Board, and Technology Manager Richard Bennett splitting his time between his role with PMA A-NZ and his role with the FPSC. Furthermore the FPSC use PMA as a critical mechanism to connect back to the industry:

Industry Research food safety projects  Information & tools to apply outcomes of research to member businesses 
Industry outreach on food safety  Member outreach on food safety that affects their particular busness 
Food safety conferences  Connecting food safety with traceability, quality standards, sustainability and new technologies 


How can you find out more?

We invite you to visit the FPSC website at where we’ll continue to provide information as our work on this project proceeds. Also, we encourage you to invite those responsible for food safety and extension in your business to subscribe to the FPSC mailing list. And of course, we'll keep you updated via the monthly PMA A-NZ member update.



PMA Global Resources

Below is a selection of the food safety resources provided by PMA Global.  The full range of resources can be found in the PMA Food Safety Resource Center

Ask Dr Bob

As PMA’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Bob Whitaker, Ph.D. (aka “Dr. Bob”) is promoting a different conversation about produce food safety  – he is encouraging industry to focus less on passing audits and minimising expenses, and more on instilling a food safety culture. The “Ask Dr. Bob” audio blog is designed to help foster that conversation, and to provide an opportunity for PMA members and industry to interact with Dr. Bob. His posts also keep you updated on the work of our food safety team, which he leads. Join the conversation here.

Center for Produce Safety (CPS)

PMA Global contributed $2 million to found the Center for Produce Safety at the University of California, Davis.  The Center is focused on aggressive research, training and outreach to reduce the risk factors of food borne illnesses in produce. Find out more about the Center for Produce Safety (CPS).

PMA E-Learning Courses

Produce Traceability Initiative eLearning Course
What is PTI? This course provides an overview of the Produce Traceability Initiative and how it works. NB. This link will launch in a new window. Flash plug-in required for viewing.

Managing a Non-Compliance Event eLearning Course
This course provides an overview of what to do should a non compliance event occur at your facility. NB. This link will launch in a new window. Flash plug-in required for viewing.

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