The Washington Conference

Save the Date: September 24-26, 2018 | Washington, D.C.

Change comes with a new Administration and we as an industry must decide whether we will ignore, resist, or engage with this change. It’s more important than ever for you to be in our nation’s capital to advocate for our fresh produce industry.

One United voice coming together to deliver a determined and clear message to our elected officials and the new administration is essential to navigating the changing political environment.

United Fresh leaders Susan Reimer-Sifford, Tony Freytag, and Tom Stenzel share why you need to be part of the Power of Fresh. Click on the images below to hear their perspective on why you need to join them in our nation’s capital, September 18-20.


This year’s United Fresh Washington Conference provides you and your industry colleagues the opportunity to deliver a powerful message to help shape decisions made in Washington that directly impact your business. Don’t leave our industry’s future in someone else’s hands – join us September 18-20 in our nation’s capital!

See Who Attended
See 2017 Photos

Schedule of Events


Monday, September 18, 2017

All Day 

Volunteer Leadership Meetings    
Hyatt Regency (various locations see below for details)
7:00 am – 6:00 pm  Registration Open
11:30 am – 4:30 pm Rising Leaders Program 
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm  Celebrate Fresh Opening Reception
Kennedy Caucus Room, Third Floor, Russell Senate Office Building

Kick-off the 2017 Washington Conference in one of the most historic rooms in Washington, DC: the Kennedy Caucus Room. This room has served as the stage for many major Senate committee investigations, including hearings on the Titanic, Pearl Harbor, Watergate, and the Vietnam War. Be a part of the Kennedy Caucus Room’s history as the produce industry comes together to celebrate the Power of Fresh.

Co-Sponsored by:
Produce Business

7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Leadership Alumni Organization Event (Invitation only; ticketed event)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

7:00 am – 1:00 pm Registration Open 
8:00 am – 9:45 am Opening Breakfast General Session

Hear from long-time immigration reform advocate Senator Jeff Flake during the first session of Washington Conference 2017! The Arizona senator will share his assessment of what’s needed to cut through today’s hyper-partisanship and divisive politics to achieve bipartisan solutions.

In addition, American Vegetable Grower will present their annual Grower Achievement Award. In cooperation with United Fresh, this award honors growers who have taken production agriculture to new levels of innovation in food quality and safety, marketing and technological advancement.

Keynote Speaker:
Senator Jeff Flake, Senate Judiciary Committee

Co-Sponsored by:
Apio, Inc.
Meister Media Worldwide
Wonderful Citrus

9:45 am – 10:00 am Nutrition Break

Sponsored by: IFCO SYSTEMS, N.A.

10:00 am – 11:00 am     Insider’s View on Key Business Issues in DC
What is Happening Right Now Concurrent Breakout Education Sessions

Co-Sponsored by:
Allen Lund Company, Inc.
Blue Book Services, Inc.
Frontera Produce

 11:15 am – Noon Crafting Our Message for Capitol Hill
Noon – 1:30 pm General Session Luncheon

As Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte is in a pivotal position to determine the outlook of immigration legislation affecting our industry, which includes the agriculture guestworker program, and border and interior enforcement laws. Chairman Goodlatte also serves as a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee, making him uniquely connected and aware of our industry’s need for immigration reform. In addition, former members of Congress Dennis Cardoza and Charlie Stenholm will share how to work with members of Congress and their staff  before your meetings on the Hill. 

 We’ll also recognize the recipients of the 2017 Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarships, as well as Class 23 of the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program.

Keynote Speaker:
Chairman, Bob Goodlatte, House Judiciary Committee

Sponsored by:
Tanimura & Antle

2:00 pm The Power of Fresh Group Photo
Capitol Reflecting Pool, U.S. Capitol Building
 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm March on Capitol Hill: U.S. House & Senate Congressional Meetings You are the Power of Fresh! Join the largest grassroots effort of the fresh produce industry as we March on Capitol Hill. This is your time to meet face-to-face with your elected officials and their staff to discuss critical issues to your business and share personal testimony of how actions taken in Washington directly affect you, your community and the produce industry overall.
5:30 pm – 6:15 pm United FreshPAC VIP Meet & Greet with  Sean Spicer
Former White House Press Secretary (Separately Ticketed Event)

Individuals that support United FreshPAC and would like to enhance their evenings experience with a private reception, meet and greet and photo opportunity may sign up  online here or for more information please contact Angela Tiwari or 202-303-3416.

6:15 pm – 9:00 pm United FreshPAC Reception & Dinner (Separately Ticketed Event)
Rooftop Terrace, Charlie Palmer Steak

Enjoy one of the best vantage points in the city while networking with produce industry friends and partners. This annual reception and dinner honors those industry members who have made a personal commitment to strengthen our industry. Individual tickets are $500 per person and $250 for a spouse/guest and can be purchased online here or for more information please contact Angela Tiwari or 202-303-3416.

Dinner Sponsor: Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., Inc.

Photo Booth Sponsor: California Giant Berry Farms

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

7:30 am – 10:00 am Registration Open
8:00 am – 10:00 am General Session Breakfast

Get ready to see behind the curtain of Washington and into the “The Age of the American Presidency” with two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, associate editor of the Washington Post and political commentator Bob Woodward. This journalistic icon, who gained international attention when he and Carl Bernstein broke the deeply disturbing news of the Watergate scandal, will explore one of the biggest question marks of our lifetime: the presidency of Donald Trump.

The 2017 Washington Conference will conclude with the presentation of the United Fresh Advocate of the Year Award. Each year, United Fresh recognizes an organization that has gone above and beyond in advocacy on behalf of the fresh produce industry. Join us in celebrating this year’s award winner!

Keynote Speaker:
Bob Woodward, Journalist, Washington Post

10:15 am – 12:30 pm

Administration Briefings and U.S. National Arboretum Tour

Conclude your 2017 Washington Conference experience with a DC Insider event! Administration briefings will be available at the White House Executive Office Building and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Or, hop on a private tram tour of the U.S. National Arboretum! These events are available on a first-come, first-served basis for all registered Washington Conference attendees.

*Schedule subject to change.

March on Capitol Hill

U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Congressional Meetings
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Change has come to Washington, DC.
Will you ignore, resist or engage? Let’s shape our future!

  • Demand a solution to protect loyal farm workers from deportation and secure a new guest worker program!
  • Transform SNAP from a welfare program to a health and nutrition program with fruits and vegetables at the core!
  • Make sure tax “reform” doesn’t become a food tax to our consumers!
  • Advocate for trade negotiations that keep products flowing, with fair standards for all!
  • Ensure the Administration delivers on promises of regulatory reform!

    Power of Fresh 2017 Resources

Rising Leaders Program

The Rising Leaders Program, held annually at the United Fresh Washington Conference is designed for produce industry up-and-comers who want to better understand the impact of public policy and the legislative process as it pertains to their business, the program is a must-attend. Participants in the Rising Leaders Program must register for the Washington Conference. There is no additional cost to attend the Program.


Volunteer Leadership MeetingsMarket Segment Boards and Expert Policy Councils

United Fresh Produce Association is led by more than 450 individuals currently serving in elected or appointed positions of leadership. These volunteer leaders represent our member companies throughout the entire produce supply chain from farm to table. Attendees are welcome to observe market segment boards and expert policy council meetings.

Monday, September 18, 2017 | Volunteer Leadership Meetings

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Food Safety & Technology
9:00 am – Noon  Finance & Business Management Council Meeting
Government Relations Council Meeting
Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council Meeting
Supply Chain Logistics Council Meeting
Noon – 1:30 p.m. Volunteer Lunch
1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. United Fresh Start Foundation Board Meeting
Grower-Shipper Board Meeting
Fresh-Cut Processor Board Meeting
Wholesaler-Distributor Board Meeting
Retail-Foodservice Board Meeting

Wednesday, September 19, 2017 | Volunteer Leadership Meetings

  Noon – 5:30 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting

Hear What People Are Saying

“It’s easy to think that policies set in Washington won’t impact our daily business, but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s definitely worth the time and financial investment to go to D.C. and take an active role in the industry’s future. If we don’t who will?” 
– Douglas Kling, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Village Farms International, Inc.

“We all attend a number of events throughout the year. However, the Washington Conference is the only platform in which we discuss policy in depth and can bring our message directly to members of Congress. We can express the critical nature of their vote and how their decisions directly impact the future of the fresh produce industry”
– Jose Rossignoli, General Manager, Tropical Category, Robinson Fresh

“Federal legislation will have a major impact on all of us in the produce industry now and for years to come. We need to talk directly with our lawmakers and government officials to show them how federal policies affect our business.” 
– Ron Carkoski, President & CEO, Four Seasons Family of Companies 



The United Fresh Washington Conference provides you and your company the opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to advancing our industry’s interests. Your sponsorship will deliver a powerful message to more than 500 produce, retail and foodservice executives from our industry’s most prominent and influential companies, as well as numerous political leaders in Washington, DC. To learn more please contact Angela Tiwari at or 202.303.3416. Click here to see this year’s opportunities. 

Thank you to our 2017 sponsors!

 Platinum Level 

         Apio-Color-Logo                TWC-Del-Monte-Fresh                                            
  meister          Monsanto       Produce-Business                
 TWC-TA     Produce-News       WonderfulCitrus

Gold Level

TWC-Baldor      120x120_Bayer-Logo       Blue Book Services        
 IFCOGlobal     ProdProc_web    Packer


Silver Level

 ALC-ALCLogistics-Logos        TWC-CalGiantBerry              150x86_Crunch-Pak-Logo-Gradient_tagline                

Bronze Level



Never has there been a more critical time for the produce industry to come together in Washington, D.C. to experience the Power of Fresh. For more information and getting engaged, contact Angela Tiwari, Director of Grassroots and Political Action, at 202.303.3416.