California Fresh Fruit Association Member Testifies Before Congress
FRESNO, CA - As our industry’s loudest advocates continue to call for the expansion of fresh produce, it’s important to note how this growth translates to a global scale. Brian Keavy, Vice President of International Sales and Marketing for Kingsburg Orchards and member of the California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA), is one of many not only helping to spearhead this expansion but also ensuring the industry at large has all the resources at its disposal to chase this growth in markets around the world.
On March 10, 2020, Keavy testified on behalf of the fresh produce industry during a hearing held by the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture. During this hearing, titled “Stakeholder Perspectives on Agriculture Trade,” the produce expert touched on the efforts stonefruit suppliers in particular have taken to establish more markets, retail, and import partnerships and a consumer base abroad, emphasizing the importance of continuing to foster these efforts under trade mitigation programs.
“Trade mitigation programs stabilize the market for our industry members while export barriers are being addressed,” he advocated during the hearing. “We understand that it takes some time to level the playing field. When a market as important as China closes, we must find alternatives to remain competitive in the interim. The trade mitigation purchases helped relieve the pressure brought on by the increased tariffs, and it is our hope that these programs will continue if the additional tariffs remain in place.”
CFFA President Ian LeMay applauded Keavy’s testimony, highlighting the stonefruit grower’s efforts to ensure the American government is still keeping trade agreements in mind.
“Our industry is fortunate to have such knowledgeable and experienced individuals, such as Brian, who are able to accurately express the importance of foreign markets to the fresh produce industry. His testimony in front of the House Subcommittee conveyed the difficult challenges that the fresh produce industry is facing but also the determination that we have to prevail and continue to provide the freshest and safest product on the market,” LeMay said in a press release. “While 2019 brought the passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), China Phase One Agreement, and the Japan Agreement. There is still work to be done to continue to access new markets and expand existing partnerships. We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration on the important issue of trade.”
To access Brian Keavy’s testimony, please click here.
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