The Washington Conference

NEW Headquarters Hotel | JW Marriott Washington, DC

Register Today!

The Washington Conference is the fresh produce industry’s annual gathering of more than 500 leaders to converge on Capitol Hill and address the industry’s most pressing public policy matters. Attendees will engage in strategic, face-to-face dialogue with key members of Congress, their staff and top regulatory officials.

This year’s United Fresh Washington Conference provides the industry an even greater opportunity to deliver a powerful message to help shape decisions made in Washington that directly impact your business.

New in 2018

United Fresh is introducing several fresh new networking, education and advocacy events this year to keep pace with the ever-changing political climate. Attendees will join industry executives at the NEW Global Trade Forum, two days of Congressional Meetings, the Fresh Festival on Capitol Hill, and the United Fresh & Congressional Friends Afternoon at the Ball Game with the United Fresh Board of Directors. Check out the schedule below for details.

Why Attend?

Networking

Join more than 500 attendees from every segment of the industry and engage directly with top political and policy experts on the issues of the day in an intimate experience. United Fresh members interact with and learn from fellow industry leaders including grower-shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesaler-distributors, retail food-service and service providers. The following conference events provide a prime opportunity to make connections within the industry:

  • Celebrate Fresh Opening Reception
  • Fresh Festival on Capitol Hill
  • United Fresh & Congressional Friends Afternoon at the Ball Game with the United Fresh Board of Directors
  • United FreshPAC Reception & Dinner
  • Leadership Alumni Organization Event

United Fresh Washington Conference past participating companies

Experience All That DC Has to Offer
View 2017 photos

Advocacy

One United voice coming together to deliver a determined and clear message to our elected officials is essential to navigating the changing political environment. Join us to deliver a powerful message to help shape decisions made in Washington that directly impact your business.

  • March on Capitol Hill: U.S. House of Representatives Meetings
  • March on Capitol Hill: U.S. Senate Meetings

Education

Hear unique perspectives on the crucial issues impacting your business from policy experts and industry leaders. Breakout sessions will tackle immigration reform, nutrition policy opportunities to increase produce consumption, 2018 Farm Bill and more.

  • Global Trade Forum 
  • Opening General Session Breakfast
  • Preparing for Our March on Capitol Hill Concurrent Education Sessions
  • General Session Luncheon
  • Wednesday General Session Breakfast

Hear What People are saying

“Well, there is one thing I love more than produce, and that’s politics! This is the perfect trip for me. I’m sure it will be fascinating!”

– Michelle Cortez, Sales Account Manager, Empacadora G.A.B., Inc. (first time attendee)

“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

Schedule of Events

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 24-26 in our nation’s capital!

Monday, September 24, 2018

8:00 am – 11:00 am Volunteer Leadership Meetings* (various locations)
JW Marriott , Washington, D.C.

*See below for details

Noon – 5:00 pm Global Trade Forum

USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, Ted McKinney, will deliver the keynote during the  Global Trade Forum, kicking off the 2018 Washington Conference.

With trade issues challenging the fresh produce industry around the world, United Fresh hosts its first Global Trade Forum. Join industry executives and government leaders discussing the impact of trade negotiations, disputes and potential solutions that can serve global consumers and producers. From NAFTA negotiations, to North and South hemispheric trade, to exports to and from Asia, take a deep dive into the future of trade in the fresh produce industry.

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm Celebrate Fresh Opening Reception
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm United FreshPAC Reception & Dinner (Separately Ticketed Event)
National Press Club 

Industry leaders come together in this annual advocacy event that raises funds to increase support for key members of Congress, strengthening the produce industry voice on Capitol Hill. For more information contact Angela Tiwari atiwari@unitedfresh.org

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

8:00 am – 10:00 am Opening General Session Breakfast

The Trump Administration is like no other in recent years, but agricultural challenges continue from the need for a stable, legal workforce to expanding fresh produce access for all Americans. We’ll kick off our conference with an invitation to the Administration’s top agricultural official.

10:15 am – 11:45 am Preparing for Our March on Capitol Hill | Breakout Sessions

Following a joint review of key issues for our Congressional visits, attendees can choose a deeper dive on the topics below of greatest interest. 

  10:15 am Sessions 1. Is It Time for a National Foodborne Disease Investigation Board?
Recent history of foodborne disease outbreaks across all sectors of the food industry has shown the fundamental flaws in our local, state and federal systems.  It’s time to talk with Congress about a new commitment comparable to the National Transportation Safety Board investigating transportation accidents.  We’ll discuss the flaws in today’s system, and what Congress needs to do about it. 2. Writing a New Immigration Bill That Meets Agriculture’s Needs
Come ready to share what you think needs to be in a bipartisan immigration bill that works for fresh produce. It’s sadly clear that Congress is NOT going to pass immigration reform we need in 2018 so we must craft and introduce a 2019 immigration bill that addresses fresh produce industry needs. Join this interactive discussion to take this important issue into our own hands.
11:00 am Sessions 1. 2018 Farm Bill – What’s Next?
The Farm Bill invests more than $3 billion in the specialty crop industry through a wide variety of programs that you as industry members can tap into. Hear what’s next as Congress deliberates about the largest single government investment to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop agriculture.

2. It’s Time for SNAP to Become a Nutrition Health Program
The SNAP program (food stamps) provides almost $70 billion to consumers annually, with no preference for healthy foods. It will be a long-term food fight to make that change, but Americans on SNAP deserve our help in aligning this program to focus on healthy foods. Join us to discuss our strategic agenda for SNAP reform and how we can take this message to Congress.

Noon – 1:30 pm General Session Luncheon

As we prepare for Congressional visits this afternoon, we’ll hear from both Republican and Democratic House of Representatives members who provide their take on the broad business of the House today, and how we can maximize our impact on the issues we care about.

2:00 pm The Power of Fresh Group Photo

Prior to our individual meetings, the industry will gather for our annual group photo in front of the Capitol.

2:30 pm – 5:00 pm March on Capitol Hill: U.S. House of Representatives Meetings
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm Fresh Festival on Capitol Hill
Rayburn Cafeteria

Have you ever seen the impact of sharing the fresh bounty of our industry with Members of Congress and key Congressional staff? Back by popular demand, the freshest reception of the year on Capitol Hill features fresh produce sampling by more than 20 member organizations as we bring the Power of Fresh to our VIP customers in the nation’s capital.

7:00 pm – 9:30 pm Leadership Alumni Organization Event (Invitation Only; Separately Ticketed Event)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

8:00 am – 9:00 am General Session Breakfast

This morning we turn our attention to the U.S. Senate, and hear from a Senator about what issues are hot, and what we can expect in our Senate meetings today.

10:00 am – 1:00 pm March on Capitol Hill: U.S. Senate Meetings
2:45 pm – 8:00 pm United Fresh & Congressional Friends Afternoon at the Ball Game
(Separately ticketed event)

Join the United Fresh Board of Directors and Congressional friends of the produce industry for an afternoon at the ballpark as the Washington Nationals take on the Miami Marlins. Take advantage of this additional networking opportunity at the Nationals Park – celebrating its 10th anniversary as an MLB stadium.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

8:00 am – 1:00 pm Board of Directors Meeting

*Schedule subject to change.

Registration

 

Registration Fees: 
These fees are available through 09/21/2018
Name Price Available To
Member Rate $795.00   Members
First Time Washington Conference Attendee $695.00   Members
Spouse/Companion $350.00   Members
Government/Academia Rate $250.00   Government & University Employees
Non-Member Rate $1,045.00   Non-Members

Register Today!

Special Events
Name Price
United Fresh & Congressional Friends Networking Event at the Ball Game $100.00

 

March on Capitol Hill2 Days of Congressional Meetings

  • U.S. House of Representatives Meeting: Tuesday, September 25
  • U.S. Senate Congressional Meeting: Wednesday, September 26

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.

Attendees will take a small sampling of what product our industry has to offer to our congressional meetings. This is a perfect segway to inviting your congressional leaders and their staff to your facility to see the impact you have locally.

Breakout Education SessionsPreparing for Our March on Capitol Hill

Following a joint review of key issues for our Congressional visits, attendees can choose a deeper dive on the topics below of greatest interest. 
10:15 am Session 
10:15 am Session

Is It Time for a National Foodborne Disease Investigation Board?
Recent history of foodborne disease outbreaks across all sectors of the food industry has shown the fundamental flaws in our local, state and federal systems.  It’s time to talk with Congress about a new commitment comparable to the National Transportation Safety Board investigating transportation accidents.  We’ll discuss the flaws in today’s system, and what Congress needs to do about it.

Writing a New Immigration Bill That Meets Agriculture’s Needs
Come ready to share what you think needs to be in a bipartisan immigration bill that works for fresh produce. It’s sadly clear that Congress is NOT going to pass immigration reform we need in 2018 so we must craft and introduce a 2019 immigration bill that addresses fresh produce industry needs. Join this interactive discussion to take this important issue into our own hands.
11:00 am Session
11:00 am Session
2018 Farm Bill – What’s Next? 
The Farm Bill invests more than $3 billion in the specialty crop industry through a wide variety of programs that you as industry members can tap into. Hear what’s next as Congress deliberates about the largest single government investment to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop agriculture.
It’s Time for SNAP to Become a Nutrition Health Program
The SNAP program (food stamps) provides almost $70 billion to consumers annually, with no preference for healthy foods. It will be a long-term food fight to make that change, but Americans on SNAP deserve our help in aligning this program to focus on healthy foods. Join us to discuss our strategic agenda for SNAP reform and how we can take this message to Congress.

hotel & Travelnew 2018 location - JW MARRIOTT WASHINGTON, DC

HEADQUARTERS HOTEL
JW Marriott Washington, D.C. 
1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

 

For the first time, the Washington Conference will be held at the esteemed JW Marriott. Perfectly located in the heart of downtown D.C., on Pennsylvania Avenue, the JW Marriott places you close to all the capital city offers.The JW Marriott is offering a discounted group rate of $309 for conference attendees while supplies last, if booked by August 28, 2018. We recommend securing your housing as soon as possible. Please click here to reserve your hotel room, or contact the hotel directly at 1-800-393-2503.

Book Your Room!

TRAVEL

The JW Marriott Washington DC is located 3.1 miles from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Alternatively, Dulles International Airport (IAD) is 26.5 miles and Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) is 34.1 respectively. A variety of ground transportation options are available at the airports.

Sponsorship Opportunities

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.

United Fresh will work with you to develop an opportunity that is specific to your business needs.  To learn more about 2018 sponsorship opportunities contact Angela Tiwari at  atiwari@unitedfresh.org or 202.303.3416.

Download the 2018 Sponsorship Opportunities!

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                
                   WP_RAWL

Bronze Level

      cabbage                                      
      FoxPackaging_CMYK             
 

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 24, 2018 | Volunteer Leadership Meetings

7:30 am – 4:00 pm Food Safety & Technology Council
National Agricultural Library | USDA | Beltsville, Maryland Transportation will be provided.
8:00 am – 11:00 am Volunteer Leadership Meetings
JW Marriott, Washington, D.C. | various locations

Finance & Business Management Council
Government Relations Council
Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council
Supply Chain Logistics Council
Fresh-Cut Processor Board
Grower-Shipper Board
Wholesaler-Distributor Board
Retail-Foodservice Board
Foundation Board of Trustees and Committees
Alumni Organization Board

Thursday, September 27, 2018

8:30 am – 1:00 pm United Fresh Board of Directors

 

Advocate of the Year Award

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!

Register Today!

For more information and to get engaged, contact Angela Tiwari, Director of Grassroots and Political Action, at 202.303.3416.