Bob Whitaker has served as chief science & technology officer of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) since 2008, and oversees food safety and technology efforts from field to fork. Whitaker has been directly involved on a number of industry and government food safety and technology initiatives. In 2006, he was awarded IFPA’s Technical Achievement Award for his work in food safety and product development. He was named to the executive committee for the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) in 2007, and served as chairman of the CPS Technical Committee until 2013. Bob still serves as a member of the CPS Technology Committee which oversees the solicitation and awarding of funds for produce food safety research.

Whitaker received his PhD in Biology from SUNY Binghamton in 1982. Upon graduation, Bob joined DNA Plant Technology Corporation serving as both vice president for vegetable research and development and vice president of product development. In 1998, Bob joined NewStar as vice president of product development and quality where he developed corporate global food safety programs, spearheaded product development, and had operational responsibility for two value-added processing plants.

Whitaker has served as a volunteer leader for the United Fresh Produce Association, and as chairman of the International Fresh-cut Produce Association (IFPA) board.