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IFPA’s Washington Conference Looks To Influence Public Policy

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IFPA’s 2024 Washington Conference, taking place from June 10-12, is a unique opportunity in a pivotal election year. It brings together inspiring leaders and significant events designed to equip attendees with the tools and knowledge to influence the policies and perceptions of produce and floral on Capitol Hill.

From keynote speakers to celebrations showcasing the best of fresh produce and floral to the Advocate for Fresh on Capitol Hill Congressional Meetings, this is the fresh sector’s premier annual policy event, shaping the future of the industry.

“The Washington Conference’s move to June in an election year creates the perfect opportunity for timely events, speakers and opportunities, and that is exactly why industry leaders should be in the nation’s capital during produce week next month,” said Rebeckah Adcock, IFPA’s VP, U.S. Government Relations. “We are so honored to have influential leaders from the Congressional Specialty Crop Caucus, FDA, USDA and our allies set the stage for this year’s event. Attendees will make the case for why policymakers must address the industry’s needs and share their stories with elected leaders making the crucial decisions shaping the food economy.”

#PowerofFresh Breakfast with Congressional Specialty Crop Caucus

This year, champions in the U.S House of Representatives established the Congressional Specialty Crop Caucus to better coordinate legislation and support for congressional action that strengthens the sector. The co-chairs of the caucus kick off June 12, as they discuss their points of view on issues important to fresh produce and floral.

Congressional Specialty Crop Caucus speakers are Rep. Jim Costa (CA-D), Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-D), Rep. David Rouzer (NC-R) and Rep. David Valadao (CA-R).

Focus on Food Safety with FDA

On June 12,  keynote speaker is Dr. Donald A. Prater, acting director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Immediately following, he will join an interactive roundtable where top FDA Human Food Program officials and the fresh produce supply chain come together to discuss industry and administration priorities and top of mind issues within the new HFP.

Speakers will showcase how industry and government can work together to enhance food safety – not just in times of crisis but with 365 preventive strategies.

Advocate for Fresh on Capitol Hill Congressional Meetings

Over two days, 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.

Attendees will advocate for three specific issues 1) Nutrition & Demand Creation – The importance of fresh produce in federal nutrition programs and policy. 2) Labor & Workforce – Demand a predictable, reliable and affordable agricultural workforce and 3) Farm Bill & Agriculture Policy – Support specialty crops in the largest investment in food and agriculture.

IFPA prepares attendees to amplify IFPA’s influence by telling their stories of fresh to public officials.

• Produce Advocacy Bootcamp: This interactive experience provides attendees with a foundation on the process and issues needed to advocate with confidence. Through presentations and role-playing with experienced advocates from the industry, attendees will gain useful, actionable tips, tricks and takeaways to use in meetings with any policymaker.

• IFPA 2024 Policy Priorities Roundtable: IFPA’s Government Relations thought leaders will cover the three specific issues attendees will discuss with Congress, essential to the fresh produce industry. These actionable insights will come in handy on Capitol Hill and back home to strengthen their companies’ voice for fresh.

• Focus on Priorities Concurrent Education: Engage in concurrent sessions to gain an even greater understanding of the critical issues to advocate for on Capitol Hill.

What’s New

Fresh additions on June 10  include: Women’s Fresh Perspectives Networking Lunch, Building a More Resilient Food System and Workforce Forum and Packaging & Sustainability at the Crossroads Forum.

Hundreds of DC policymakers and policy influencers will be on hand for the conference, including key congressional and administration staff, allied partners, consumer advocates and fellow IFPA Washington Conference attendees.

The Washington Conference interactions and engagements impact the entire fresh produce and floral supply chain. IFPA encourages industry leaders, as well as those new to the industry, to make their voices heard: advocate for fresh and help shape the decisions made in Washington that directly impact their businesses. More information and registration are available on IFPA’s website.

About the International Fresh Produce Association

The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) is the largest and most diverse international association serving the entire fresh produce and floral supply chain and the only to seamlessly integrate world-facing advocacy and industry-facing support. It conducts advocacy; connects people and ideas; and offers guidance that allows all to take action with purpose and confidence.

Read more produce news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Treva Bennett

Senior Content Creator

After 32 years in the newspaper industry, she is enjoying her new career exploring the world of groceries at The Shelby Report.

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