The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) has brought aboard Natalie Dyenson as its new chief regulatory and food safety officer, effective July 17. Dyenson, whose most recent position was VP of food safety and quality for Dole Food Co., brings to her new role nearly three decades of experience in food safety, spanning the grower, retailer and foodservice sectors. She succeeds Dr. Jennifer McEntire, who left the trade organization on May 5.
Before joining Charlotte, N.C.-based Dole, Dyenson was senior director for both supplier and international food safety at Walmart, food safety and health manager at Walt Disney World, and held a range of food safety roles at food-testing company Silliker, Kash n’ Karry Supermarkets, and Harris Teeter.
“To have a leader the caliber of Natalie join our association is an honor,” said Cathy Burns, CEO of IFPA, which has offices in Washington, D.C., and Newark, Del. “It is a direct reflection of her commitment to the industry and the importance and relevance that produce safety has globally. IFPA is committed to invest in the latest tools and resources to support the industry and our members while proudly advocating for the health and goodness produce provides to all consumers. Natalie also brings a unique perspective and experience to connect members, the industry and stakeholders to make a significant impact.”
“The fresh produce industry is facing a number of hurdles, ranging from much-needed reforms at the Food and Drug Administration to the need to ensure fresh produce is included in policies that balance public health concerns with the important role fruits and vegetables play in consumers’ diets,” noted Dyenson. “The opportunity to join and lead the IFPA food safety team and give back to an industry that I’m passionate about and truly believe in is exciting in this next chapter of my career. I can’t wait to connect with our volunteers and members as we collaboratively take on the safety challenges facing our global community.”
In her new role, Dyenson will lead the Food Safety Council, currently chaired by Jennifer Pulcipher, of Traverse City, Mich.-based North Bay Produce. Additionally, IFPA has as one of its seven strategic priorities providing expertise and business solutions in food safety and globally engaging with international bodies and allied organizations on issues such as standards harmonization.
In March, IFPA appointed former Walmart Sourcing Manager Deborah Zoellick its new director of floral programs.
Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter, which employs 36,000 associates across more than 250 stores and 60 fuel centers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, Florida and the District of Columbia, is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co., No. 4 on The PG 100.