History of the RFA


The Refrigerated Foods Association (RFA) was formed in 1980 as the Salad Manufacturers Association (SMA)
to meet the needs of the then budding wet salad industrysircey.jpg (potato salad, cole slaw, pasta
salad, protein salads, etc.).

The Association has grown from its humble beginnings of 12 salad makers in 1980 to
over 140 refrigerated food companies across the world today.

The visionary behind the Association’s formation is Mr. Don Sircy of Performance
Manufacturing (pictured left with wife Maureen).

He approached the Association's founding Executive Director, Ms. Judy Stokes Gervais, with the premise of
organizing an Association for this promising industry. After a meeting in Savannah, Georgia in October,
1980, the Salad Manufacturers Association was born. Dave Miller of Mrs. Kinser's was appointed as
the first President of SMA.

The Association’s main function has always been to serve the technical, marketing, and regulatory
needs of its members and provide a network for the industry.

The Association serves as an information clearinghouse for businesses involved in the manufacture
and sale of their food products.

The Association’s Technical Director, Mr. Martin Mitchell, was involved from the start with
providing sound technical expertise and food safety information.

As the industry developed, the Board saw a shift in the product line of the majority of its membership.
In 1992, the group changed its name to Refrigerated Foods Association to better reflect their product
lines, which at this time included wet salads, home meal replacement options, refrigerated entrees,
dips, desserts, ethnic foods, and side dishes.

Today, the Refrigerated Foods Association continues to serve this industry and strives to meet its
varied needs - with technical information, regulatory updates, marketing tips, networking opportunities,
training tools, and research reports.