Jan 26, 2022
Appointments, plans OK’d by Alliance for Food and Farming

At its recent meeting, the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF) appointed Kyla Oberman, Director of Marketing for California Giant Berry Farms, to serve as its new Secretary/Treasurer and Lauren M. Scott, Chief Strategy Officer for the International Fresh Produce Association, and Jim Morris, Marketing Communications Manager for the Pear Bureau Northwest, to the Management Board.

Oberman joined California Giant in 2020. Previously, she was Marketing Manager for Jacobs Farm Del Cabo, Tanimura & Antle and Naturipe Farms. Oberman brings over 15 years of fresh produce marketing experience throughout the category.

“Kyla has been integral to the AFF through her work on both the Board and the Communications Committee and we are excited to have her serve in this leadership role on the AFF’s Executive Committee,” said Kate Tynan, AFF Chair and Senior VP with the Northwest Horticultural Council.  “We want to sincerely thank Rick Tomlinson (California Strawberry Commission President) for his years of service as the AFF Secretary/Treasurer.”.

Scott has over 20 years of experience in the consumer products industry. Prior to her work for the produce industry, Scott worked at PepsiCo in a variety of marketing roles, including brand management, foodservice, national promotions and cultural branding.

Morris has over 12 years of combined retailer and marketing experience. Most recently, Morris created and executed marketing programs for key accounts and specialty retailers as Retail Marketing Manager at Keen Footwear.

“We welcome Lauren and Jim to the AFF Board. Their consumer marketing experience and expertise will make them valuable additions to our Board and we look forward to the ideas they will bring to the table as we implement the AFF’s 2022 program,” Tynan said.

A key component of the AFF’s 2022 program includes a comprehensive consumer research project, which will measure consumer attitudes and concerns about food safety as well as identify information that reassures consumers about their choices when shopping for produce.

“This consumer research is distinctive because it is a broad-based, national research project specific to food safety and produce,” says Alyssa Houtby, Senior Director, Federal Affairs for California Citrus Mutual and the AFF Communications Chair. “The AFF’s survey work will fill a significant information need for our members since much has changed over the last two years due to the pandemic and we need to better understand consumers’ food safety perceptions,” she said.

“The results will be provided to AFF members through our website and exclusive webinars so they have the opportunity to use this research to evolve and refine their communications as their share stories with consumers about their care and commitment to grow these healthy foods,” said Teresa Thorne, AFF Executive Director.

An industry working group will oversee AFF staff on this research to ensure project goals are met.

The objective of the AFF program is to provide credible, science-based food safety information to consumers so facts, not fear, can guide their produce shopping choices. The AFF’s safefruitsandveggies.com website, its consumer-facing social media channels and its strong network of media and nutrition communicators are the cornerstones of its campaign

Over the last decade, the AFF has successfully diminished the impact of fear-based promotions, like the annual release of the “dirty dozen” list, which disparages the safety of more affordable and accessible produce items.

In fact, media analyses show the list receives significantly less mainstream media coverage today because of the efforts of the AFF.  Further, 80% of the “dirty dozen” list mentions on social media are now negative while 90% of AFF content mentions skew positive.

To learn more about the AFF and support our work, visit the “Join the Alliance” webpage.  To share facts and information regarding produce safety, visit safefruitsandveggies.com.

The Alliance for Food and Farming is a non-profit organization formed in 1989 which represents organic and conventional farmers and farms of all sizes. Alliance contributors are limited to farmers of fruits and vegetables, companies that sell, market or ship fruits and vegetables or organizations that represent produce farmers. Its mission is to deliver credible information about the safety of fruits and vegetables.

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