August 24, 2023
Washington, D.C. – IFPA’s 2023 Washington Conference, September 12-15, is packed with high-impact education, collaboration, and advocacy designed to prepare attendees for influencing the policies and perceptions of produce and floral on Capitol Hill and around DC. From inspiring keynote speakers to dynamic celebrations highlighting best of fresh produce and floral to the March on Capitol Hill, The Washington Conference is the fresh sector’s premier annual policy event and shapes the future of the industry.
“Congress is actively considering so many issues critical to the fresh sector. The Washington Conference is the perfect forum for meaningful engagement because it will empower attendees to amplify IFPA priorities on the Hill and with the Administration,” said Robert Guenther, IFPA’s Chief Public Policy Officer.
Women's Fresh Perspectives Reception and Welcome Reception
On Tuesday, September 12, The Washington Conference adds new networking opportunities to already dynamic events. Attendees will make valuable connections with the women leading the fresh industry during the Women's Fresh Perspectives Reception. And, IFPA will welcome all attendees on a rooftop overlooking the U.S. Capitol at the annual Welcome Reception.
2023 State of the Fresh Nation
IFPA CEO Cathy Burns kicks off “Produce Week” with a special recognition of the 2023 Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarships recipients, as well as IFPA's Produce Safety Immersion Program participants. Next, a senior Biden Administration official will deliver a keynote address on the Administration’s actions impacting the fresh industry. Rounding out this session, a seasoned panel of DC journalists, including Kate Bennett of Invariant, Heather Caygle of Punchbowl, Leah Douglas of Reuters and others from Bloomberg and Reuters debate what to expect from Congress for the remainder of 2023, including “Will there be a government shutdown?” and “How is President Biden's agenda faring in a divided Congress?”
Focus on Fresh: 2023 Policy Priorities
To prepare for the March on Capitol Hill, respected experts and industry insiders will debate the policy issues most critical to the fresh industry, why these issues matter to the fresh sector’s bottom line, and how attendees can amplify IFPA’s influence by telling their story of fresh to public officials. Topics include creating a stable workforce, prioritizing food safety, improving nutrition and growing fresh consumption, and building a better Farm Bill.
Coffee with the Chairs & ’24 Election Preview
Thursday begins with Coffee with the Chairs of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Senator Debbie Stabenow, and House Agriculture Committee, Representative G.T. Thompson, sharing their perspective on the most important issues facing agriculture and food including a spotlight on this year's must-pass Farm Bill. Then, Charlie Cook, a leading authority on U.S. elections and political trends, delivers an early look at political races on Capitol Hill and the presidential election outlook heading into 2024.
March on Capitol Hill & Briefing at the White House
Attendees take the #PowerofFresh to the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to share IFPA policy priorities and the impact of fresh produce and floral on jobs, economic growth, and consumer demand for healthy food. And, attendees who register in time to claim one of the limited seats will hear directly from senior White House officials during a Briefing at the White House.
International Trade Forum
Alexis Taylor, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, U.S. Department of Agriculture will keynote Thursday evenings dinner. Then, Washington Conference finishes strong on Friday with IFPA’s International Trade Forum. With the aim to better serve consumers and producers, industry executives and government leaders will discuss global markets, solutions to trade barriers, and the impact of shifting government trade policies. From negotiations in the Indo-Pacific to trade in the Western Hemisphere, the Forum takes a deep dive into the future of trade in fresh produce and floral.
Friday Speakers include:
- Rob Ahern, Director of Sanitary and Phytosanitary issues, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
- Marc Busch, Ph.D., Professor of International Business, Georgetown University, Wilson Fellow
- Matt Lantz, Vice President, Bryant-Christie, Inc.
- Casey Creamer, President, California Citrus Mutual
- Brian Kuehl, Executive Director, Farmers for Free Trade
- Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, Principal, AgTrade Strategies, LLC
- Mark Powers, President, Northwest Horticultural Council,
- Kam Quarles, Chief Executive Officer, National Potato Council
- Takashi Sadakane, Counsellor, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, Embassy of Japan
- And more to be announced
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Forum with Fresh Produce
Concurrent sessions Friday morning give participants the opportunity to also focus on Food Safety. Don’t miss this interactive forum, where the fresh produce industry will present to FDA our industry led work on food safety prevention efforts. Then the tables flip, when top FDA officials participate in a roundtable discussion with attendees focused on how industry and government can work together to enhance food safety – not just in times of crisis but 365 preventive strategies. FDA Director of the Office of Food Safety Dr. Mark Moorman leads this interactive session with his colleagues, so come prepared to ask questions.
The issues debated and actions taken at The Washington Conference impact the entire fresh produce and floral supply chain. IFPA encourages industry leaders, as well as those new to the industry, to advocate for fresh and help shape the decisions made in Washington that directly impact their businesses.
For more information on The Washington Conference, contact Angela Tiwari, IFPA’s Director, Grassroots & Political Affairs, at (202) 404-3416.