Georgia-Pacific has gifted $250,000 to the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) located at the University of California, Davis. This is the largest donation from an industry supplier to support the research program at CPS. Known for its commitment to service, safety and sustainability, Georgia-Pacific has uniquely positioned itself to lead other suppliers to support the CPS Campaign for Research.

"A safe and reliable food supply is something that we all have come to expect. As a packaging supplier for the produce industry and other food companies, food safety is important to us as well," said Georgia-Pacific Packaging President Carl Marhaver. "Georgia-Pacific Packaging applauds the work being done through the Center to promote and develop safer standards while seeking knowledge through collaborative research. We are proud to contribute to this effort and support the continued advancement of CPS's good work."

"We are honored that Georgia-Pacific has confidence in our programs, and we commend them for their leadership in encouraging other suppliers to join the effort to bring the most current produce safety science into use," said Stephen Patricio, chair of the CPS Advisory Board. "It takes innovative collaborations like this to engage the entire produce supply chain to invest in food safety. The integrity of the produce supply system is strong because food safety is a priority for all involved."

The gift will support CPS's competitive research grant programs, according to Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, the center's executive director. The center funds produce-general and commodity-specific research to address the fresh produce industry's food safety research needs. With the help of its public- and private-sector research partners, CPS has compiled an impressive three-year body of work, awarding nearly $9 million and funding 58 one- and two-year research projects at 19 universities and organizations. This year an additional $3 million is available to fund projects that will be evaluated through CPS's 2012 request for proposals.