AFF, Markon partner on Facts, Not Fears produce-safety media tour

The Alliance for Food & Farming, in conjunction with Markon Cooperative, hosted its first ever Facts, Not Fears produce-safety tour for bloggers and writers Aug. 21-23 in the Salinas Valley. Tour participants visited fruit and vegetable fields and processing facilities as well as engaged with farmers, chefs and scientists with expertise in nutrition and food safety during the three-day event.TimYorkMediaTour2

“We all learned a lot from each other during the tour,” Tim York, Markon president and AFF vice chair, said in a press release. “This was an opportunity for our guests to learn firsthand about the produce industry’s commitment to food safety as well as meet some of the people responsible for growing our fruits and vegetables. But we also learned more about what information the bloggers and writers want and need to help them communicate about how we grow and produce our food safely.”

“The best way to showcase the farmers’ care and commitment is to see it in person,” Teresa Thorne, AFF executive director, said in the release. “We want to thank our tour partner, Markon, for making this experience possible, as well as the farmers and scientists who provided information and insights into how we produce safe and healthy foods. We definitely sent our guests home tired, but with their minds full of food safety and farming facts.”

The bloggers and writers involved in the tour provide content and stories for publications like the Huffington Post, Univision, U.S. New & World Report, Parents magazine, Forbes, Men’s Fitness, Today’s Nutrition magazine, Slate, Salon and the New York Post among others. Several are published authors. The tour participants’ social media properties also reach thousands of followers each day.

The goal of the AFF is to provide science based food-safety information so that facts, not fears, can guide consumers’ shopping choices. The AFF also aggressively counters misinformation about organic and conventionally grown produce safety, which peer reviewed studies show can have a negative impact on fruit and vegetable shopping choices and consumption. The cornerstone of the AFF’s efforts is the safefruitsandveggies.com website, which was developed with experts in the areas of farming, nutrition, health, toxicology and risk analysis.

“Since we began the Safe Fruits and Veggies campaign in 2010, the AFF has made significant strides to communicate food safety facts and correct and counter inaccurate information,” York said. “Through these efforts, we have seen positive coverage of our information and content in publications like the Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Bloomberg News, Business Insider, the San Francisco Chronicle, Food Safety News and more. This tour took our media outreach efforts to the next level by allowing us to establish one-on-one relationships and share our information with this important group of influencers.”

“We also extend our sincere thanks to the California Strawberry Commission and the Produce Marketing Association for their sponsorship of the AFF’s media tour,” Thorne said.

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