The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) met with incoming House Agriculture Committee Chair Representative GT Thompson (R-PA) and other key House leaders at the Pennsylvania Farm Show on January 13 to discuss IFPA and the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance 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 businesses across the supply chain.
The focus of the meeting was to expand 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. The IFPA also discussed 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.
The IFPA also discussed establishing a fair and level playing field for American specialty crop producers and eliminating trade barriers that discriminate against American specialty crop exports. Additionally, they discussed enabling a sustained and meaningful federal investment into specialty crop research and innovation to catalyze opportunities, alleviate existing challenges, and propel the U.S. specialty crop industry to a new level of global competitiveness.
IFPA Vice President of U.S. Government Relations Rebeckah Adcock said, “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.”
The IFPA is committed to being the lead industry representative and resource to Capitol Hill, and their meeting with Chairman Thompson and other key House leaders is an important step in achieving this goal.
Photo by Michael Judkins