WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC) will meet on September 15-16 in Washington, D.C. The meeting, which is open to the public, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 15 and from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on September 16.
“This advisory committee represents the entire produce industry, and we look forward to hearing their updates as we work with this vital sector to achieve common goals” said Agricultural Marketing Service Administrator Anne Alonzo, whose agency oversees the FVIAC.
At the meeting, FVIAC members will review the status of their previous recommendations to the Secretary. They will also discuss the progress made by the FVIAC’s five Working Groups, which cover the following topics: 1) Ports of Entry Inspection Delays, 2) Research and Grant Funding, 3) Agricultural Labor, 4) Education and Branding, and 5) Food Safety. All of the working groups will also meet separately during the two-day meeting.
USDA established the FVIAC in 2001 to examine the full spectrum of issues facing the fruit and vegetable industry and to provide suggestions and ideas to the Secretary on how the department can tailor its programs to meet the changing needs of the produce industry. To date, the FVIAC has met 15 times and developed over 70 statements and recommendations on various issues. FVIAC members represent the full breadth of the produce industry, including fruit and vegetable growers, shippers, wholesalers and distributors, retailers and restauranteurs, industry trade associations, importers and exporters, processors, foodservice suppliers, brokers, state departments of agriculture, farmers markets and food hubs, and the organic sector. AMS Fruit and Vegetable Program Deputy Administrator Charles Parrott serves as the Committee’s Executive Secretary, along with the Designated Federal Officer.
The meeting will be held at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel, 1000 H Street, N.W., Bulfinch/Latrobe Conference Room, Washington, D.C., 20001. All individuals interested in submitting comments related to the fruit and vegetable industry must submit them 10 business days in advance of the meeting date. To submit comments and/or to arrange for special accommodations, contact Committee Designated Federal Officer Pamela Stanziani at (202) 720-3334 or e-mail email@example.com.
Additional information on the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee is available online on the AMS website. Details about the meeting were published in the Aug. 13, 2015, Federal Register.