GAINESVILLE, Fla., Oct. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Produce safety has been at the forefront of national news for the past year. From the deadly listeria outbreak in cantaloupe last September, to the salmonella related recalls of mangos and other melons this summer, concerns about organic produce, pesticide residues, and beyond have made recent headlines. With growing concerns regarding food safety, and implementation of new regulations like the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the produce industry is relying more than ever on experts in food science, both internally and in independent, third party food testing laboratories, to prevent the spread of harmful pathogens and contaminants.
In 2011, the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association saw the importance of recognizing, honoring, and nurturing those who showed great promise in the future of the produce industry, and started the Emerging Leadership Development Program (ELDP). The programs objectives were to "equip potential leaders with a depth of knowledge of the many issues facing agriculture and provide them with the education and tools to deal with these issues," and "better prepare younger leaders so they can improve the sustainability and economic viability of specialty crop agriculture."
As the first class of ten young leaders (all between 25 and 40), finished their year in the program, twelve new leaders rose to take their place at the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Naples, Florida. Among those new leaders, is ABC Research Laboratories' business development director for produce, Ian Bessell.
"I'm thrilled by the honor of serving as a member of the 2nd class of emerging leaders for FFVA," remarked Bessell. "As an ISO 17025 and NELAC accredited food testing laboratory, ABC Research is firmly dedicated to being a strong partner for the produce industry, and I look forward to using my expertise in food safety to round out the perspective of the ELDP." ABC Research also saw the importance of the ELDP program and therefore took the opportunity to support what FFVA was doing through sponsorship of both the 1st and 2nd classes of the program.
Bessell joined ABC Research Laboratories in 2010 and has a masters of agribusiness degree and a bachelor's of science degree in food and resource economics both from the University of Florida. He has worked in agriculture for over a decade.
About ABC Research: ABC Research Laboratories, an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited testing facility, is one of the largest food testing labs in the United States. ABC Research serves the entire spectrum of the food industry from pathogen and pesticide residue testing to nutritional labeling and appliance benchmark testing. Dedication to personalized service, coupled with superior scientific practices, is the foundation of ABC Research Laboratories' success. www.abcr.com
Media Contact: Chuck Ellis ABC Research Laboratories, 352.372.0436, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE ABC Research Laboratories