International Fresh Produce Association and California Fresh Fruit Association Applaud Introduction of the Affordable and Secure Food Act; Robert Guenther and Ian LeMay Comment
WASHINGTON, DC & FRESNO, CA - The rollout of the bipartisan Affordable and Secure Food Act to reform the H-2A visa program is the talk of our industry, as the pivotal move is expected to provide certainty for American agricultural producers and farmers in need of reliable, legal workers. After Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Representative Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) held a press conference yesterday morning where they rolled out Senate legislation that aims to provide reliable, legal farm labor, lower food prices for American families and secure the United States food supply, multiple industry organizations have spoken out.
Two influential associations joining the conversation are the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) and the California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA).
“Crippling labor shortages have existed for years, so the fresh produce industry implores Congress to finally act on the most important thing that can be done to stabilize the agricultural workforce, ease the strain on the supply chain and lower the cost to consumers,” said Robert Guenther, IFPA’s Chief Policy Officer. “Congress must not kick the can down the road again or offer hollow promises of solving this problem for next year. Now is the time.”
As noted in the organization’s statement, CFFA is also encouraging the Senate to pass this bill to ensure that our domestic food supply will last long into the future, and it will continue to engage on this issue to ensure that California’s fresh fruit industry’s needs are addressed.
“On behalf of the California Fresh Fruit Association, we would like to thank Senator Bennet for his leadership in introducing this bill,” stated CFFA President Ian LeMay. “The agricultural industry has waited many years to have a reliable, legal workforce. This legislation will address the critical need to provide a pathway to legal status for current, undocumented employees, while also improving the existing guest worker program. The agricultural industry in California and across the country prides itself on being able to provide a safe, and secure food supply to the nation and the world. However, this can only be accomplished with a dependable workforce. There is no doubt that agriculture has waited many years for immigration reform, and we are optimistic that this bill will finally accomplish this goal.”
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