The National Association of Perishable Agricultural Receivers (NAPAR), founded in 1989 and based in Washington, D.C., has now rebranded as the Produce Distributors Association (PDA). The first and only organization of its kind that advocates solely for fresh produce distributors, PDA began as an East Coast-based group of terminal market members and now hopes to build national membership.
“We want to remake NAPAR and have started with a simplified name change,” said Matthew D’Arrigo, PDA board chair and owner of Bronx, N.Y.-based D’Arrigo New York Inc. “Our first goal is to cast a much wider net over the industry. When we move from terminal market membership to the population of any produce distributor in America, numbers go up 20-, 30- and 40-fold, and so does industry representation. This then leads to a second goal: To develop lobbying expertise and an agenda of topics of concern that specifically affect produce distributors.”
[Read more: “Building the Perfect Produce Department”]
Added D’Arrigo: “A third goal is for PDA to serve as a watchdog, as an insurance policy. Our representation in Washington will be our eyes and ears, reporting back to the membership on current topics and those lurking in the future, so we can get a proactive head start on these issues.”
Among the issues currently on PDA’s agenda are ensuring that produce distributors are treated fairly by the revised FSMA 204 regulations and determining that any revisions in requirements for distributors of organic fruits and vegetables are reasonable.
“The mission of PDA is to assure that we as produce distributors are treated fairly, kept in the loop on important issues, and have a seat at the table when decisions are made by Congress and regulatory agencies,” observed PDA President Alan Siger, past president and CEO of Pittsburgh-based Consumers Produce Co. Inc. for more than four decades.