Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance Endorses Legislation Addressing Research, Nutrition, and Trade
WASHINGTON, DC - The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA) has shared its latest announcement. Earlier this week, the national coalition of more than 200 specialty crop organizations representing growers of fruits, vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, nursery plants, and more endorsed legislation that would address industry issues tied to research, nutrition, and trade laid out in the organization’s 2023 Farm Bill recommendations.
“The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance has long advocated for investments in the competitiveness and sustainability of the United States specialty crop industry to produce a strong return for both farmers and all Americans—it’s foundational to everything we do,” the SCFBA Co-Chairs said in a joint statement. “That’s why we are grateful for those in the U.S. Senate and House who continue to champion policy ideas that will improve access to fruits and vegetables in federal nutrition programs and enhance the long-term competitiveness of the industry.”
Mike Joyner, President of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association; Dave Puglia, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western Growers; and Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council, head up the SCFBA as Co-Chairs, alongside Robert Guenther, Chief Public Policy Officer for International Fresh Produce Association, who serves as secretariat for the Alliance.
As a press release states, the SCFBA was established to advocate for the unique needs of specialty crop growers in the Farm Bill and enhance their overall competitiveness in the face of increasing global competition and regulatory and buyer demands. Addressing these needs is critical as specialty crop production—including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery, and greenhouse commodities—contributes significantly to the U.S economy. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the sector accounts for $64.7 billion in farm gate value and 30 percent of farm cash receipts for crops.
The organization endorsed the following legislation:
- Specialty Crop Research Act of 2023, introduced by Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-07), would increase mandatory funding for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative and IR-4
- GusNIP Expansion Act of 2023, introduced by Reps. Rick Crawford (AR-01) and Dan Kildee (MI-08), would enhance and expand the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP), providing low-income Americans with greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables
- Expanding Agricultural Exports Act, introduced by Senators Angus King (ME), Joni Ernst (IA), Tina Smith (MN), Susan Collins (ME), and Chuck Grassley (IA) and Reps. Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Jim Costa (CA-21), Tracey Mann (KS-01), Kim Schrier (WA-08), Ashley Hinson (IA-02), Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), Bradley Finstad (MN-01), and Chellie Pingree (ME-01), would double the funding for the Market Access Program to $400 million
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