May 31, 2024

Produce industry priorities to take center stage in Washington

Fresh produce and floral industry advocates are preparing to gather in Washington, D.C., in early June to amplify public policy priorities.

The International Fresh Produce Association’s Washington Conference, set for June 10-12, will address issues including food safety, nutrition, farm bill legislation, workforce development and trade.

“The Washington Conference’s move to June in an election year creates the perfect opportunity for timely events, speakers and opportunities, and that is exactly why industry leaders should be in the nation’s capital during produce week next month,” Rebeckah Adcock, IFPA vice president of U.S. government relations, said in a news release. “We are so honored to have influential leaders from the Congressional Specialty Crop Caucus, FDA, USDA and our allies set the stage for this year’s event. Attendees will make the case for why policymakers must address the industry’s needs and share their stories with elected leaders making the crucial decisions shaping the food economy.”

Conference attendees will advocate for three specific issues, according to the release: the importance of fresh produce in federal nutrition programs; the need for a reliable and affordable agricultural workforce; and support for specialty crops in farm bill and ag policy.

On June 10, the Women’s Fresh Perspectives networking lunch will premiere, with forums including “Building a More Resilient Food System and Workforce” and “Packaging and Sustainability at the Crossroads” forums also open to attendees.

Co-chairs of the Congressional Specialty Crop Caucus will discuss industry issues on June 12. Speakers will include Reps. Jim Costa, Elissa Slotkin, David Rouzer and David Valadao.

The June 12 keynote speaker will be Donald A. Prater, acting director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Registration and a full schedule of events are available online. Attendees must register in advance of the show.

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