The Washington Conference

2019 Headquarters Hotel | Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, D.C.

View the 2018 Photos!

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

The United Fresh Washington Conference provides the industry a great opportunity to deliver a powerful message to help shape decisions made in Washington that directly impact your business.

New in 2018

United Fresh introduced several fresh new networking, education and advocacy events this year to keep pace with the ever-changing political climate. Attendees joined 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.

Meet This Year’s Keynote Speakers!

Why Attend?

Networking

Hundreds of 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:

United Fresh Washington Conference past participating companies

Experience All That DC Has to Offer

View 2018 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 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, Director, Global Sourcing, 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

The 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!

Monday, September 24, 2018

8:30 am – 11:30 am Volunteer Leadership Meetings* (various locations)

*See below for details

Noon – 5:00 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global Trade Forum

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.

Inaugural Global Trade Luncheon
Noon – 1:30 pm

Schedule

11:30 am Conference Check In
Please check at the Washington Conference registration desk, located on the ballroom level, prior to noon to receive your attendee badge and meeting materials! 

Noon – 1:15 pm Inaugural Global Trade Luncheon 

Keynote Speaker: Ted McKinney, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, United States Department of Agriculture

With trade issues challenging the fresh produce industry around the world, United Fresh hosts its first Global Trade Forum. Don’t miss keynote speaker, Ted McKinney, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, United States Department of Agriculture as he outlines the current state of play. 

1:15 pm Networking Break

Industry and Government Insights into NAFTA and Worldwide Trade

Over the next 3 hours join industry executives and government leaders in breakout sessions discussing the impact of trade negotiations, disputes and potential solutions that can serve global consumers and producers. Two deep dive tracks will be offered, focusing on the future of trade in the fresh produce industry within NAFTA or the global marketplace. 

1:30 pm 
Trade Mitigation Impact on the Fresh Produce Industry

Speakers: 

  • Mark Slupek, Deputy Administrator, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, United States Department of Agriculture
  • Bruce Summers, Administrator, Agriculture Marketing Service, United States Department of Agriculture

2:15 pm Ag Experts Insights on U.S. Trade Policy 

Moderator: Joel Nelsen, President & CEO, California Citrus Mutual

Speakers: 

  • Cassandra Kuball, Representing the North American Market Working Group and Sr. Director, Trade & Industry Affairs, Corn Refiners Association
  • David Salmonsen, Policy Director for Trade, American Farm Bureau Federation
  • Kris Denzel, Senior Director, International Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce 

3:00 pm Doing Business Globally 

Moderator: Robert Guenther, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, United Fresh Produce Association 

Speakers: 

  • Danny Dumas, Vice President N.A. Sales & Product Management, Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., Inc.
  • David Einstandig, VP and General Counsel, Mastronardi Produce, Ltd
  • Mark Girardin, Past President, North Bay Produce, Inc.
  • Mayda Sotomayor-Kirk, CEO, Seald Sweet International/Greenyard USA
  • Mario Steta, Group Vice President and General Manager LATAM, Driscoll’s

4:00 pm Forecasting Fresh Market Opportunities 

Speaker: Daniel Sumner, Frank H. Buck, Jr., Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis

Come back together for an economic outlook section that will provide facts that color the landscape of trade into and out of the United States. Daniel Sumner, the Frank H. Buck, Jr., Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis will share his perspectives on the trends likely to shape future trade and answer your burning questions such as: Where will we see more imports? Where might we see more exports? What surprises might be on the horizon? 

4:50 pm Closing Remarks

5:00 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. Click here to learn more or for more information contact Angela Tiwari atiwari@unitedfresh.org

Speaker: Bob Woodward, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist and Author

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.

Keynote Speaker: Gregg Doud, Chief Agricultural Negotiator, with the Rank of Ambassador, in the Office of the United States Trade Representative

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.

Speaker: Dr. Jennifer McEntire, Vice President, Food Safety & Technology, United Fresh Produce Association

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.

Speakers:
John Hollay, Senior Director, Government Relations, United Fresh Produce Association
Lynn Jacquez, Managing Partner and Principal, CJ Lake, LLC

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.

Speaker: Robert Guenther, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, United Fresh Produce Association

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.

Speakers:
Hannah Martin, registered dietitian and senior policy analyst, Bipartisan Policy Center
Mollie Van Lieu, Senior Director, Nutrition Policy, United Fresh Produce Association

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.

Congressional Panel Speakers:
Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL), Chair of the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research

Representative Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Member, House Agriculture Committee
Robert Guenther, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, United Fresh Produce Association

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 Senator Heidi Heitkamp about what issues are hot, and what we can expect in our Senate meetings today.

Keynote Speaker: Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)

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

 

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
  • U.S. Senate Congressional Meeting: Wednesday

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 choose a deeper dive on the topics below of greatest interest. 
 
 

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.
 
 
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 & Travel2019 location - GRAND HYATT WASHINGTON, WASHINGTON, DC

2019 HEADQUARTERS HOTEL
Grand Hyatt Washington
1000 H St NW, Washington, DC
Washington, D.C. 20001

 

With a pristine location in the heart of Washington D.C.’s Penn Quarter neighborhood, just steps away from downtown, the Grand Hyatt Washington ensures that you’re never far from where you’re looking to go. Explore from Grand Hyatt Washington, conveniently connected to the Metro Center train station from our lobby, allowing you to travel the red, orange, silver, and blue lines with ease to the city’s beloved destinations and neighborhoods. See all of D.C.’s top sights from the hotel’s front doors.

TRAVEL

The Grand Hyatt Washington is located 5 miles from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Alternatively, Dulles International Airport (IAD) is 27 miles and Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) is 32 miles 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 sponsorship opportunities, contact Angela Tiwari at atiwari@unitedfresh.org or 202.303.3416.

Download the 2018 Sponsorship Opportunities!

2018 Sponsors

Platinum Level

                                            Apio-Color-Logo                       120x120_Bayer-Logo                                                 
          TWC-Del-Monte-Fresh          meister     Produce-Business                
         Produce-News          WonderfulCitrus

Gold Level

            TWC-Baldor         Blue Book Services      IFCOGlobal
    Image result for crunch pak     ProdProc_web    Packer    

 

Silver Level

                TWC-CalGiantBerry                  
                           WP_RAWL

Bronze Level

                                           
                             

                       

 

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.
8:30 am – 11:30 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!

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