Known in the food safety arena for his work in fresh produce research, Trevor Suslow has signed on as vice president of food safety for the Produce Marketing Association.

Suslow will start with the Newark, DE, non-profit in October, according to a news release from PMA. The move concludes a 23-year stint at the University of California-Davis for the plant pathologist and educator. He has led the university’s Postharvest Technology Center since 2016.

At PMA Suslow will again be working with Bob Whitaker, the association’s chief science and technology officer. The two worked together at DNA Plant Technology Inc., an agricultural biotechnology firm that Suslow helped found. Suslow will report to Whitaker at PMA. 

“An important challenge to enhancing produce safety is reaching those who need to be aware and who need to understand what the science is telling us,” Whitaker said in the PMA news release. 

“Trevor has the knowledge in and passion for the subject, and has a proven track record as a produce safety educator who can translate the science of produce safety for stakeholders from field labor to industry CEOs.”

A plant pathologist by training, Suslow has devoted his career to safeguarding and enhancing the quality and safety of whole and fresh-cut produce. As an extension research specialist he has advised and educated industry and other stakeholders on post-harvest food safety and quality. His work has focused on science-based solutions to food safety problems.

“At this point in my career, I feel this position will provide me the platform to have the greatest impact on technical leadership for PMA members, the broader industry and affiliated stakeholders, as well as best serve the produce industry’s commitment to protect consumers around the globe,” Suslow said in the news release.

As PMA’s vice president for food safety, Suslow plans to work with industry, regulators and the food safety community to educate and advocate for risk- and science-based approaches to produce safety. He will also work with researchers to facilitate produce safety studies that can be translated into industry best practices. As part of those duties, Suslow will represent the association on the Center for Produce Safety’s technical committee. He has served on the committee since its inception.

Suslow earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences, and master’s and doctorate degrees in plant pathology, from the University of California, Berkeley. He was named to the Food Safety News list of “The Best of Food Safety in Education” in 2013, and The Packer newspaper’s “25 Profiles in (Produce) Leadership” in 2014.

Suslow will start as PMA’s vice president of food safety on Oct. 1, working from Davis, CA. The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) is a trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain.

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