Farm Bill, Food Safety, And COOL

Farm Bill, Food Safety, And COOL

Last year at the Washington Public Policy Conference (WPPC), the overriding theme was immigration reform. I think we all know how that turned out. Despite the disappointment on that front, there was a feeling of relief from this year’s conference attendees about the passage of the Farm Bill. This year’s WPPC, held Sept. 10-12 in Washington, DC, occurred with just three weeks remaining for Congress to be in session before the election. Realistically, not much was expected to occur during those final weeks.

Although that wasn’t good news, it was brought up, on more than one occasion, that this was the first time fruits and vegetables were included in the Farm Bill. All in attendance applauded United Fresh Produce Association’s intense involvement in helping to get this historic bill passed. As Bill Laforge, an attorney with Winstead Sechrest & Minick, said during an advocacy and grassroots session, “If you don’t speak up for your cause, no one else will.”

Even though not much was expected to get done in
Congress during the remaining “lame duck” session, it was mentioned that typically when a new president takes
office — regardless of party affiliation — the largest amount of controversial issues are tackled. We can only hope that rings true in 2009.

Food Safety

As part of the WPPC, I also had an opportunity to visit FDA and hear from several representatives of the organization. The purpose of the visit was to discuss food safety issues. As many can imagine, tomato growers are still looking for answers as to why they were falsely accused of being the source of Salmonella that caused quite a stir at the beginning of the summer. Tomato growers lost a significant amount of money as a result of this food safety scare. 

Unfortunately, not many answers were provided by those from FDA speaking to the group. Discussions turned to determining what information is necessary to make traceback more effective and efficient, so this bit of history doesn’t repeat itself. Tom Lovelace, chairman at United, asked the FDA representatives to involve producers in the information gathering process after an outbreak occurs. 

Keeping Up With COOL

Another topic discussed at the conference was the implementation of COOL, the Country of Origin Labeling rule. As of Sept. 30, fresh produce sold in retail stores must be in compliance with the rule. According to Robert Guenther, senior vice president, public policy at United, it is critical for all supply chain partners to work together to understand and implement this rule.

To find out more on the specifics, read “What You Need To Know Now About Complying With Country Of Origin Labeling Rule,” which can be found at www.unitedfresh.org. Additional questions can be sent to [email protected].

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Wildflower planting to support bees on a Michigan blueberry farm. (Photo Credit: Emily May)
Fruits
December 2, 2016
Food Company Invests $4 Million In Pollinator Habitat
General Mills, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Xerces Society announce multi-year commitment to help pollinators prosper. Read More
(USPP#26,610) A yellow clingstone nectarine that ripens between June 16 to 26. The fruit is very large, firm, has great flavor and has good storage and shipping qualities. The tree is large and vigorous and produces an excellent crop. Requires approximately 450 hours of chill.
Fruits
December 2, 2016
The Burchell Nursery 2017 Variety Showcase [Slideshow]
The Burchell Nursery, Inc., in Oakdale, CA, offers a new self-fertile almond, an early-season nectarine, and a late-season peach. Read More
Grower Jonathan Brown of Bethel Farms inspects his citrus grove.
Citrus
December 2, 2016
Citrus Survey Shows Florida Growers Are Bully For Bactericides
Growers are betting unique crop protection tools will bridge the gap to bigger HLB solutions. Read More
Photo credit: USDA
Citrus
December 1, 2016
Bio Huma Netics App Now Released For Android Smart Phones
App includes foliar application calculators and ability to save application data. Read More
Low-volume center pivot irrigation at Jones Potato Farm in Florida
Farm Management
December 1, 2016
Florida Farmers Are Good For The Environment
All three recipients of this year’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards are proof of agriculture’s longstanding commitment to conserving the Sunshine State's precious natural resources. Read More
Premier™ Honeycrisp was discovered by the growers at Mount Ridge Fruit Farms in Adams County, PA. Premier™ is a complete tree sport of Honeycrisp that matures three weeks earlier. From what we’ve observed, Premier™ shares many of the same attributes of the original Honeycrisp and should not be considered a red strain. USPP#24,833 (DAS 10 CLTV.)
Fruits
December 1, 2016
Adams County Nursery 2017 Variety Showcase [Slideshow]
Adams County Nursery, Inc., in Aspers, PA, offers a Honeycrisp strain that ripens three weeks before the original variety. Read More
CBS This Morning citrus story interview
Citrus
December 1, 2016
Telling The Story Of Florida Citrus More Important Now Than Ever
HLB forces an emphasis on grassroots efforts to paint a positive picture. Read More
2016 Florida Ag Expo tomato variety field tour
CEU Series
December 1, 2016
CEU Series: Back A United Front To Fight And Defeat Pests
Coordination and integration are key factors to any successful crop protection battle plan. Read More
This watermelon seedling is showing Fusarium wilt symptoms. The first symptom that appears on infected plants is wilt in a single leaf or a single vine.
Photo credit: Kathryne Everts
Crop Protection
November 30, 2016
The Effect Of Soil Fertility On Fusarium Wilt In Watermelon
Ongoing research sheds light on the role soil health plays in the severity of the deadly pathogen. Read More
Produce case at Hopcott
Fruits
November 30, 2016
‘Dirty Dozen’ — Dirtier Than You Think [Opinion]
Find out how the Environmental Working Group is making money off its annual list that slams conventional produce. Read More
The Latest
Fruits
December 2, 2016
Food Company Invests $4 Million In Polli…
General Mills, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Xerces Society announce multi-year commitment to help pollinators prosper. Read More
Fruits
December 2, 2016
The Burchell Nursery 2017 Variety Showca…
The Burchell Nursery, Inc., in Oakdale, CA, offers a new self-fertile almond, an early-season nectarine, and a late-season peach. Read More
Citrus
December 2, 2016
Citrus Survey Shows Florida Growers Are …
Growers are betting unique crop protection tools will bridge the gap to bigger HLB solutions. Read More
Citrus
December 1, 2016
Bio Huma Netics App Now Released For And…
App includes foliar application calculators and ability to save application data. Read More
Farm Management
December 1, 2016
Florida Farmers Are Good For The Environ…
All three recipients of this year’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards are proof of agriculture’s longstanding commitment to conserving the Sunshine State's precious natural resources. Read More
Fruits
December 1, 2016
Adams County Nursery 2017 Variety Showca…
Adams County Nursery, Inc., in Aspers, PA, offers a Honeycrisp strain that ripens three weeks before the original variety. Read More
Citrus
December 1, 2016
Telling The Story Of Florida Citrus More…
HLB forces an emphasis on grassroots efforts to paint a positive picture. Read More
CEU Series
December 1, 2016
CEU Series: Back A United Front To Fight…
Coordination and integration are key factors to any successful crop protection battle plan. Read More
Crop Protection
November 30, 2016
The Effect Of Soil Fertility On Fusarium…
Ongoing research sheds light on the role soil health plays in the severity of the deadly pathogen. Read More
Fruits
November 30, 2016
‘Dirty Dozen’ — Dirtier Than You Think […
Find out how the Environmental Working Group is making money off its annual list that slams conventional produce. Read More
Vegetables
November 30, 2016
Harris Moran Seed Company 2016 Vegetable…
For more information, contact Harris Moran Seed Company: 260 Cousteau Place, Suite 210, Davis, CA 95618 800-320-4672: WEBSITE hmclause.com FAX: Read More
GenNext Growers
November 30, 2016
Virtual Conference Designed For New, Beg…
National Farmers Union to present a conference that is entirely web-based. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
November 30, 2016
Florida’s Top Citrus Growers Sound…
Fighting pyllids, better weather, and new varieties will hopefully bring improved yields. Read More
More Vegetables
November 30, 2016
Keys To Successful Bell Pepper Productio…
Proper water management and pruning strategies can help improve yields. Read More
More Vegetables
November 29, 2016
Clifton Seed Company 2016 Vegetable Vari…
For more information, contact Clifton Seed Company P.O. Box 206, Faison, NC 28341 910-267-2690; CliftonSeed.com FAX 910-267-2692; [email protected] Read More
Fruits
November 29, 2016
New Precooler Boasts Shorter Times, Grea…
Global Cooling Inc. has introduced a new portable precooler – the Jet-Ready Precooler. The Jet Precooler is a forced air Read More
Fruits
November 29, 2016
Van Well Nursery Celebrates 70th Anniver…
Nursery known for ‘Red Delicious,’ ‘Fuji,’ ‘Gala’ sports making a name for itself in the 21st century. Read More
Citrus
November 29, 2016
Saving California Citrus Means Thinking …
Saving the California citrus industry from the incurable disease Huanglongbing will take a creative multi-pronged effort. Read More