Barry A. Eisenberg has been named vice president of food safety services for United Fresh Produce Association, the big Washington, D.C.-based industry association and lobbying group.
In announcing the move, United Fresh president and CEO Tom Stenzel said, “Dr. Eisenberg’s 25-year food safety career provides him a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will be highly valued in this new position designed to increase our direct support and assistance to United member companies.”
Eisenberg will develop education programs, training and individualized support to help companies with food safety planning, operations and compliance with best practices and regulatory standards. His work will complement that of United’s senior vice president of food safety and technology, David Gombas. The two will help shape United’s overall government and industry food safety policies and best practices.
Stenzel said the two will work together to “make sure that science-based rules prevail, whether in government policy or private sector audits.”
Eisenberg’s most recent job was with River Ranch Fresh Foods, where he was head of technical services.
His new position was created in response to the United Fresh executive committee’s decision to increase food safety support for member companies.
It became apparent during the past year that association members “look to our staff expertise for help in understanding and adopting best food safety practices,” explained United Fresh board chair Steffanie Smith, CEO of River Point Farms.
She said large and small companies, from local farms to global producers and marketers, are facing numerous food safety challenges and looking for help. Eisenberg will enhance the trade association’s strength not only in shaping food safety policy but for support in understanding and complying with food safety requirements, according to Smith.
Eisenberg earned a Ph.D. in horticulture post-harvest physiology from the Ohio State University and has worked at the Campbell Soup Co. and Chiquita Brands. He has served as head of the Environmental Horticultural Sciences Department at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo and has worked for Apio, Inc. and Growers Express.
A past member of the United Fresh board of directors, he has also served as chairman of the association’s Food Safety and Technology Council. Most recently, he chaired the Grower Shipper Association of Central California’s Food Safety Council, was a member of the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Technical Committee and served on the scientific research review committees for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Center for Produce Safety.
He will be based in the association’s western regional office in Salinas, CA.