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PMA, United Fresh End Merger Talks

NEWARK, Del. — The Produce Marketing Association has ended merger discussions with the United Fresh Produce Association, PMA announced on Tuesday.

"We engaged leading experts in association mergers to ensure that we took every step possible to advance the interests of our members across the global supply chain while reducing duplication and costs,” said Mike O’Brien, co-chair of the joint task force leading Produce Marketing Association’s and United Fresh Produce Association’s merger discussions, in a statement to the media.

“Those experts guided us through a disciplined legal due diligence process and comprehensive financial modeling to assess both the opportunities and challenges of a merger. Let me assure you that our duty to represent our members’ best interests was first and foremost in our minds at every stage of this process.”

O’Brien noted disappointment that the two groups could not agree on a joint association model.

“Once again, let me state for the record that this was a decision made by PMA’s volunteer leaders on behalf of our members. PMA remains committed to building collaborative relationships with all our association partners in the U.S. and abroad.”

United Fresh's Chairman of the Board David Krause and Chairman-Elect Ron Midyett also relayed disappointment.

“We are disappointed that in the end, PMA’s current leadership did not agree with what we believe was a very fair, member-oriented plan that could have blended the goals and priorities of both associations,” Krause and Midyett wrote in a press release. “Without that commitment from our friends at PMA, the United Board could simply not abandon the principles that have guided our association for more than a century.”

The two produce groups have explored the possibility of merger several times over the past 15 years.

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