WASHINGTON, D.C – 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 yesterday.
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 2014 Farm Bill contains provisions that are the most significant government investment ever in the competitiveness of the fruit and vegetable industry,” said United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel.
On Wednesday, the Agricultural Act of 2014 will be brought before the House of Representatives for a final vote. Later this week, the Senate will also bring the Farm Bill up for a final vote before sending it to the president for his signature. United Fresh is launching a grassroots campaign� today calling on produce industry leaders from across the country to contact their members of Congress to encourage them to vote ‘yes’ on the Agricultural Act of 2014.
“This bill is a milestone, but the bill has not yet passed, so there is still work for produce industry leaders to do in encouraging members of Congress to vote ‘yes’ on the Farm Bill,” said Robert Guenther, United senior vice president of public policy. “This is not an easy vote, so we need an aggressive effort right now from the fresh produce industry.”
Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association serves companies at the forefront of the global fresh and fresh-cut produce industry, including growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and Western Regional office in Salinas, Calif., United Fresh and its members work year-round to make a difference for the produce industry by driving policies that increase consumption of fresh produce, shaping critical legislative and regulatory action, providing scientific and technical leadership in food safety, quality assurance, nutrition and health, and developing educational programs and business opportunities to assist member companies in growing successful businesses. For more information, visit www.unitedfresh.org or call 202-303-3400.