COVID-19 and the fallout from it have greatly impacted the fresh produce supply chain. As a result, significant delays currently exist in delivering fresh produce to customers, both at the retail level and wholesale level. Many of these challenges are rooted in the lack of labor, port congestion, input cost, road transportation, as well as some regulatory challenges. In 2021, the industry has come together to collectively assess the challenges and come up with solutions that can help streamline these supply chain challenges.
First and foremost, It is vital that the Administration and Congress take action to respond to both the immediate and long-term needs of the fresh produce industry’s supply chain. A first step has been made with the passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Job Act which both United Fresh and PMA both supported.
Building on this historic investment into the country’s infrastructure, the International Fresh Produce Association will look to further address critical challenges by working to ensure that we have a workforce that meets the needs of our industry and our consumers from farm to fork. Also critical to this challenge is ensuring that we have the physical infrastructure in place to ensure that we can deliver fresh produce to our consumers safely and timely. In 2022, the International Fresh Produce Association will look to drive political support for two pieces of legislation that will address a number of these issues including the bipartisan Ocean Shipping Reform Act and the DRIVE Act.
Our Legislative Positions:
- IFPA supports the Ocean Shipping Reform Act which will bring critical needed reforms to our port supply chain
- IFPA supports the DRIVE Act which will build upon the pilot program in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to enable qualified drivers under the age of 21 to transport goods across state lines
- IFPA supports efforts to address broader supply chain issues to ensure the priority of perishable products like fresh produce are considered when moving goods domestically and internationally.