January 16, 2023
Washington, DC – Following meetings last week with new members of the 118th Congress, International Fresh Produce Association government relations staff and a small group of IFPA members met with incoming House Agriculture Committee Chair Representative GT Thompson (PA15-R) and other key House leaders at the Pennsylvania Farm Show on January 13.
The focus of the meeting was to discuss IFPA and specialty crop industry priorities and opportunities in the upcoming Farm Bill. The one-on-one meeting was followed by a Farm Bill listening session hosted by Chairman Thompson and attended by several Pennsylvania-based IFPA members representing various business across the supply chain.
To set the context for the Committee and the House leaders in attendance, IFPA provided state profiles from its U.S. economic impact study of the fresh produce industry to each legislator. Topics discussed were:
- Expanding access and availability to safe, wholesome, healthy, and affordable foods like fresh produce to encourage life-long healthy eating habits and help address national priorities such as obesity, heart disease, and food and nutrition insecurity.
- Mandating a proportional share of Farm Bill resources and spending for specialty crops, specifically investment in the human resources, expertise, and data collection and analytics necessary throughout the government to better serve the industry.
- Establishing a fair and level playing field for American specialty crop producers and eliminating trade barriers that discriminate against American specialty crop exports
- Enabling a sustained and meaningful federal investment into specialty crop research and innovation to catalyze opportunities, alleviate existing challenges, and propel U.S. specialty crop industry to a new level of global competitiveness.
- Enhancing the ability of specialty crop producers to participate fully in all USDA conservation programs as well as any initiatives to address global climate change.
“With the House of Representative up and running into busy year, Congress is turning its attention to the most important work, like the upcoming farm bill. Farm policy translates to food policy and IFPA is committed to ensuring key members of Congress understand who the fresh produce and floral industry is, what our needs are, and why we need their leadership to succeed,” said IFPA Vice President of U.S. Government Relations Rebeckah Adcock. “We met last week with the new members of Congress to build those relationships early. Now we are in Pennsylvania with Chairman Thompson and the House Ag Committee to support their leadership, share our perspectives and set the stage for IFPA to be the lead industry representative and resource to Capitol Hill.”
Adcock was joined at the Pennsylvania Farm Show by IFPA Vice President of Nutrition & Health Mollie Van Lieu; and IFPA Director of Grassroots & Political Affairs Angela Tiwari.