Whether it’s providing testimony at committee hearings, submitting documentation supporting specific policies or conducting grassroots advocacy campaigns, United Fresh maintains an active presence on Capitol Hill and in the Administration. United Fresh educates federal lawmakers, agencies and regulators on the value of a strong produce industry. Our work informs key economic and regulatory issues that impact our industry’s ability to deliver the most nutritious and abundant food supply to the consumer in every state and congressional district throughout the United States.
ISSUES IMPACTING FRESH PRODUCE
2018 Farm Bill
Keeping a strong federal commitment to specialty crops. United Fresh Produce Association is a founding member and coordinator of the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA): a national coalition of more than 120 organizations representing growers of fresh fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, nursery plants and other specialty crop products. Each Farm Bill cycle, the Alliance meets, developes a set of comprehensive recommendations which are then presented to Members of Congress and their staff for consideration when drafting the new bill. It is critical that we reach a broad diversity of Members of Congress.
Food Safety Modernization Act
Ensuring the safety of the fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain, public health, and business viability Passed by Congress in 2010 and signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years. FSMA changes many aspects of how food is regulated, by aiming to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply through a focus on prevention, rather than responding after a food safety event has occurred. Today, seven final FSMA rules are in varying stages of implementation, and the fresh produce industry continues to move forward with education, training and compliance to the various regulations, to which they are subject.
Immigration/Guest Worker Programs
Working to implement and secure a legal stable workforce. For years, the produce industry and our agriculture sector partners have made an overwhelming case for legislation to reform our broken immigration system and help build a legal and reliable workforce. While Congress has come close several times to addressing this issue, fear and politics have always intervened. Our industry must have: 1) legal status for the current workforce; 2) reforms to the current federal agriculture guest worker program known as H-2A; 3) future access to a skilled, dedicated workforce; and 4) NO heightened enforcement legislation that does not contain a solution for agriculture’s problems in attracting and maintaining a workforce.
Building opportunities together that will last a lifetime. United Fresh is the voice of the produce industry in shaping nutrition and health policy in Washington, D.C. The nation has a commitment to increase fruit and vegetable consumption to “half of the plate,” and we’re working to make that public health goal a reality. A wide variety of information about nutrition policy can be found in the "Nutrition” section of our website.
United Fresh has joined over 50 other agriculture organizations to craft a set of specific recommendations for improving our nation’s federal regulatory system in a way that is streamlined, effective, transparent and provides ample opportunity for public comment.
Tax laws have a profound impact on business decisions. Certainty about tax rates plays an important role in whether fresh produce companies up and down the supply chain expand and hire. As Congress addresses the most comprehensive business and individual tax overhaul since 1986, policymakers must be committed to enacting pro-growth and pro-competitive, comprehensive business tax reform.
The U.S. fruit and vegetable industry, and partners around the globe, need to work together with the Administration and Congress to enact only sound agricultural trade policies that preserve opportunities for market access and fair standards for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Transportation & Infrastructure Investment
The produce industry is highly dependent upon an efficient transportation system, from trucking, rail and ocean shipping, to ports and border control facilities. New funding of transportation infrastructure could provide meaningful support to the industry in increased efficiency and lower costs. It is essential that the produce industry has a seat at the table with clear priorities to enhance our industry.