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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will join Washington Public Policy Conference attendees at the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Oct. 5 for a candid meeting to discuss the current policy landscape for the produce industry regarding the Farm Bill, nutrition programs, agriculture research and other important USDA programs that will help promote the fresh produce industry.
This is the second time that Secretary Vilsack has addressed the annual public policy summit of the United Fresh Produce Association.
“Secretary Vilsack and his team at USDA are intimately involved with so many issues that are important to the fresh produce industry,” said United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel. “Attendees at this year’s Washington conference will have the chance to hear how these issues and more will affect their businesses.”
The meeting with USDA is part of a series of face-to-face meetings with industry regulators at this year’s Washington Public Policy Conference. In addition to the meeting with Secretary Vilsack, teams of attendees will meet with officials and representatives at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to discuss policy items impacting the fresh produce industry.
“While Tuesday’s conference offerings will focus on Capitol Hill’s agenda, Wednesday’s face-to-face meetings provide us with an opportunity to see how laws are implemented and turned into critical federal programs that can help enhance the competitiveness of the fresh produce industry,” explained Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy for United Fresh. “From specialty crop block grants and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to the new MyPlate icon, these initiatives are critical to our industry.”
In addition to the meeting at USDA, attendees will visit with officials at FDA for a discussion on the pending regulations stemming from the Food Safety Modernization Act signed into law by President Barack Obama in January, as well as with EPA officials to address the implications of the Clean Water Act for grower-shippers and for other sectors of the produce industry.
For more information on the Washington Public Policy Conference, visit www.unitedfresh.org/programs/wppc.