GFVGA Joins Hundreds for United's Washington Conference
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Last week, GFVGA joined with hundreds of other produce industry representatives for the 2018 Washington Conference hosted by the United Fresh Produce Association. During this event, GFVGA had a chance to advocate with growers from other states to both Senate and House representatives on several agricultural issues.
During the congressional office visits, the groups discussed specialty crop needs in the Farm Bill and encouraged the representatives to complete the Conference Committee discussions and get a Bill passed as soon as possible. Other topics included labor and immigration reform and the food safety act implementation. One of the primary issues discussed was NAFTA and the lack of protection in the agreement for SE producers to overcome unfair trade practices from Mexico.
Charles Hall, GFVGA Executive Director, called the meeting productive and said it allowed the group to educate non-ag representatives concerning NAFTA/USMCA issues.
"The lack of trade protection for our growers in this agreement is a critical problem," Hall said. "It is our responsibility to educate legislators that southeastern fruit and vegetable growers must have some relief if there is to be 'fair' trade!"
Georgia produce industry members making visits to congressional offices included: Drew Echols, 2nd Vice President - GFVGA, Jaemor Farms; Aries Haygood, 1st Vice President - GFVGA, M & T Farms; Beth Oleson, Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association; Lee Woodham, Fresh Point Atlanta, Inc.; and Paul Thompson, Georgia Department of Agriculture
Offices visited include: Senator Johnny Isakson, Senator David Perdue, Congressman Drew Ferguson, Congressman John Lewis, Congressman David Scott, Congressman Doug Collins and Congressman Austin Scott.