“United Fresh is pleased that the House of Representatives reached a key milestone in the effort to pass a multi-year transportation bill that reauthorizes federal surface transportation programs. For nearly a decade, the fresh produce industry has been advocating for a long-term transportation funding plan. Most recently, Congress heard from more than 500 produce executives in face-to-face meetings when we held our Washington Conference in September. During each of those meetings we reiterated the positive impact that improvements to our nation’s massive transportation network would have on our industry’s ability to operate effectively and continue to supply Americans with an abundant supply of fresh fruits and vegetables.
“We are also pleased that – in spite of intense opposition – proposals to address key fresh produce priorities such as national motor carrier hiring standards and port performance data will likely be addressed when the House and Senate have a conference to reconcile their respective versions of the legislation.
“Unfortunately, we are extremely disappointed by the defeat of Representative Reid Ribble’s (R-Wisconsin) amendment that would have allowed states to increase truck weights on their respective interstate highways. Findings from the Department of Transportation clearly prove that heavier, six-axle trucks are not only safer for the public but also more economical and healthier for the environment. Regardless, we remain committed to seeking much-needed improvements to our national transportation policies, so that growers, wholesalers, retailers and other produce businesses can continue to provide Americans with an abundant and nutritious supply of fresh fruits and vegetables safely and quickly.”