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From Advocacy To Education, IFPA Touts Impacts In 2023

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Advancing the health of consumers, the produce and floral industries and the planet are at the heart of 10 key 2023 impacts from the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA).

“We do so much more together as an association than any individual or company can do on their own,” said IFPA CEO Cathy Burns

“Our members amplified their voice in government and cultural advocacy to grow consumption. They expanded connections and business opportunities. They leveraged education and leadership development to grow their companies. And they contributed to sustainability work on packaging, climate change, and regenerative agriculture. All of this in service to their mission to grow a healthier world.”  

Reflecting on the association’s work in 2023, Burns noted it was difficult to limit the impact list to 10. 

“There were so many accomplishments, including record-breaking events that bring members together to learn, connect and do business,” Burns said. 

“But we disciplined ourselves to whittle the list down.”  

IFPA’s highlights from 2023 include:

  • Advocating for produce prescriptions to improve consumer health and boost sales;
  • Calling for systems thinking and risk-based approaches to solutions around Cyclospora as a public health threat;
  • Collaborating with the Delta USDA Regional Food Business Center to support underserved, disadvantaged farmers and business owners in the Southeastern United States; 
  • Urging a structure and leadership model for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that better serves the produce industry;
  • Admitting a second cohort to IFPA’s Fresh Field Catalyst Accelerator to advance ready-to-market, climate-smart solutions; 
  • Encouraging the use of climate-smart practices through a USDA Climate-Smart Commodities Grant;
  • Striving to secure new programs, policies and resources in the U.S. Farm Bill that foster innovation, increase consumption and provide industry tools and technologies;
  • Urging exemptions on proposed plastic packaging rules in Canada that would threaten industry’s efforts to make produce more affordable, safe and accessible;
  • Advancing members’ work on diversity, equity and inclusion with a free, online toolkit; and
  • Participating in the COP28 climate change conference that brings together world leaders to find sustainability solutions.

“None of this impact is possible without significant work from IFPA members,” Burns said.

“That’s the power of an association – gathering voices and expertise that allow us to act on our priorities. I’m so grateful to members who engage with IFPA to advance our mission. 

“We know fresh produce and floral are the key to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems, and the work our members did in 2023 exemplifies that.” 

Details on IFPA’s 2023 Impact Report are available here. 

About the International Fresh Produce Association 

The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) is the largest international association serving the fresh produce and floral supply chain and the only to integrate world-facing advocacy and industry-facing support. 

Read more produce news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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