The United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh) and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) have called off merger discussions.

Separate announcements by the two produce entities make it clear that the merger is a dead issue for now.

Each company released a statement July 16, 2012 on the decision.

PMA’s Mike O’Brien, co-chair of the joint task force leading merger discussions between PMA and United Fresh, said, “I acknowledge with profound disappointment that despite our best efforts we were unable to agree on an acceptable joint association model that would meet both member and industry needs.”

United Fresh said, “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. 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.”

Both produce companies said the decision is in the best interests of their respective memberships.