International Fresh Produce Association Discusses Food Affordability and Packaging Policy With Canadian Prime Minister; Cathy Burns and Vonnie Estes Share



International Fresh Produce Association Discusses Food Affordability and Packaging Policy With Canadian Prime Minister; Cathy Burns and Vonnie Estes Share


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WASHINGTON, DC - Earlier this week on November 15, a roundtable meeting took place with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, hosted by Michael Janis and the San Francisco Market. Focused on United States and Canadian consumer food affordability, International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) Chief Executive Officer Cathy Burns and Vice President of Innovation Vonnie Estes were in attendance.

Cathy Burns, Chief Executive Officer, International Fresh Produce Association“To drive consumption of fruits and vegetables, we must continue to create preference for produce and increase access, which includes ensuring affordability,” said Burns. “We are grateful for Prime Minister Trudeau’s partnership in today’s roundtable as we discussed opportunities to make food more affordable, such as through government investment in projects like Food Fix or produce prescriptions. However, as IFPA members expect us to advocate on issues impacting their businesses, we also used our time to ensure that Canadian policymakers don't also make food less affordable, less safe, and less accessible which will be an outcome of legislation that seeks to eliminate produce packaging options in Canada."

Burns also referred to the planned rule from the ECCC to eliminate plastic packaging in produce sold in Canada by 95 percent by 2028. She highlighted the important role that plastic packaging plays in ensuring shelf-life of the certain fresh categories, affordability, and convenience; while PLU stickers allow to eliminate packaging altogether while supporting accurate pricing and consumer choice.

On November 15, International Fresh Produce Association Chief Executive Officer Cathy Burns and Vice President of Innovation Vonnie Estes attended a roundtable meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, hosted by Michael Janis and the San Francisco Market

According to a press release, Burns stressed the need to exempt plastic packaging for fresh and fresh-cut products, as well as functional PLU stickers from planned packaging bans in Canada.

Vonnie Estes, Vice President of Innovation, International Fresh Produce Association"PLU stickers solve a lot of challenges at retail, and they are critical to price integrity and product identification—especially for organics, and more packaging would be needed without them,” added Estes. “A Canadian rule is demanding all PLU stickers be compostable and we shared that multiple efforts are in progress to develop a compostable sticker. For example, IFPA is working with Sinclair on a USDA grant for a compostable option and IFPA member (and Canadian-based company), Accu-Label, has one in development as well. Of course, innovation takes time in addition to investment, and we’re working to create a compostable adhesive that will stick to all fruits and vegetables.”

For more from the press release, click here. And keep reading ANUK to stay up to date with the industry’s latest.

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International Fresh Produce Association

The International Fresh Produce Association is the largest and most diverse international association serving the entire…