September 1, 2022
Washington, D.C. and Newark, DE. – International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) has announced the formation of a new volunteer leadership council focused on Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). The council will focus on opportunities available within the growing market and will be led by volunteer leader, Abby Prior, Chief Commercial Officer at Bright Farms and IFPA staff liaison Vonnie Estes, Vice President of Agfood Tech Innovation.
"Controlled environment agriculture is not only a market with incredible business potential but also is a sustainable solution to meet the demand for fresh produce year-round," said Prior. "I'm looking forward to working with other leaders in the industry to collaborate and build the strength of our segment within the industry."
Currently, farmers contend with unpredictable field conditions caused by weather, pests, and more. CEA allows us not only to customize the environment for the plant, removing the stress of pests and disease and also the need for secondary products used to eliminate these threats.
“CEA allows breeders to shift their focus towards discovering new crops and developing the traits in new or current crops that allow for longer shelf life along with improved, flavor and nutrition,” said Estes. “Any opportunity to grow consumption and remove barriers to access and preference for fresh produce is a critical segment for our industry. I look forward to working alongside our industry volunteers as we explore and learn more about this new market.”
Those interested in joining the council are encouraged to learn more about IFPA volunteer opportunities as the organization will issue a call for volunteers to serve on the CEA Council, and others, this fall.