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Produce industry to take on Capitol Hill

Registration is now open for the Washington Public Policy Conference, the annual policy summit of the United Fresh Produce Association in the nation’s capital.

Registration is now open for the Washington Public Policy Conference, the annual policy summit of the United Fresh Produce Association in the nation’s capital. Focusing on the produce industry’s role in the political arena, the WPPC will address hot-button public policy issues including agriculture farm programs, mandatory e-verify requirements, increasing access to healthy food choices in federal nutrition programs, the impact of the new food safety law on the industry and regulatory challenges surrounding the fresh fruit and vegetable industry.

To be held Oct. 3-5, the WPPC is recognized across the industry for its importance as a venue for produce leaders to address key policy issues with their elected representatives.

“It’s so important to talk to about these issues so that lawmakers understand how they affect our day-to-day businesses,” said Nelia Alamo, director of sales and marketing for Oxnard, Calif.-based Gills Onions.

“WPPC offers unprecedented, face-to-face access to leaders in the House and Senate, and administration officials in the White House, at FDA, USDA, EPA and other federal agencies,” said United Fresh President Tom Stenzel. “These men and women are creating, enacting and enforcing policies and legislation that affects every aspect of running a produce business, from creating opportunities for increased produce sales through federal feeding programs, to enforcing the food safety standards under which we produce safe healthy food, to certifying the workforce our businesses need to thrive, the decisions made in Washington have a tangible effect on each and every member of the fresh produce industry. As the people on the ground, with our hands in the soil, so to speak, our input is critical to that process, and the Washington Public Policy Conference is the only event that brings produce leaders together in one united voice to make a difference for the entire industry.”

With the Washington Public Policy Conference comes the annual Fresh Festival on Capitol Hill, an opportunity for the fresh produce industry to showcase its freshest products and newest ideas for members of Congress and their staff. Over the years, the event has established itself as a favorite among staffers and lawmakers alike.

This year’s conference will take place steps from the Capitol at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, offering attendees the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Washington experience.

“Ours is a fantastic location this year, within shouting distance of the Capitol and the halls of Congress,” said Stenzel. “It puts the leaders of the produce industry right in the mix with the biggest names and the heaviest movers and shakers in American politics.”

Registration options and more information about the Washington Public Policy Conference can be found online at

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