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The 2014 Farm Bill and the Fresh Produce Industry

United Fresh is the produce industry's leading voice on Capitol Hill on Farm Bill issues, and works closely with key lawmakers to advance this essential legislation.

The United Fresh Produce Association applauds the Agricultural Act of 2014 (commonly known as the Farm Bill) finalized by the House and Senate Farm Bill Conference Committee January 27, 2014, and signed into law by President Obama February 7, 2014.
The Farm Bill conference report includes an overall increase in investment of 55 percent over 2008 Farm Bill funding levels in critical produce industry initiatives and programs, including the State Block Grant Program, Specialty Crops Research Initiative, a new fruit and vegetable incentive grant program for SNAP recipients, the pest and disease prevention program along with maintaining funding in the Market Access Program and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
The documents linked below provide details about key produce industry provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill. 

Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance

United Fresh also works to advance specialty crop priorities though the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance, of which United is a founding member. The Alliance is a national coalition of more than 120 organizations representing growers of fruits, vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, nursery plants and other products that was established to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop agriculture and improve the health of Americans by broadening the scope of U.S. agricultural public policy. The Alliance played a key role in securing a commitment to specialty crop programs in the 2008 Farm Bill. For more information about the Alliance's advocacy efforts, please visit www.strongeragriculture.org.

Background

Farm Bills provide USDA the authority to operate programs using provisions specified in the law. For most programs, authorization to operate expires after five years. The current farm law, The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, expired in September 2012, but was extended to remain in effect until September 2013.

After almost two years of preparation, a year of debate and a Presidential veto override, the Food, Conservation and Energy Act, became law on May 22, 2008. For the first time ever, this bill contained a significant level of funding to address specialty crop needs. The bill provides approximately $3 billion for our industry to address priorities, such as battling pests and disease from entering the U.S. and increasing research, food safety, consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, access to international markets access and investments in infrastructure. This legislation also makes a strong commitment to improving nutrition and decreasing obesity among children by expanding the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program to reach more than one million kids in all 50 states.



United Fresh Produce Association
1901 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: 202 303 3400
Fax: 202 303 3433
united@unitedfresh.org