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Congress fails to include ag labor reform in omnibus spending bill

International Fresh Produce Association logo.

December 20, 2022 – Newark, DE. and Washington, D.C. – The International Fresh Produce Association BB #:378962, the largest and most diverse international association serving the entire global fresh produce and floral supply chain, expressed extreme disappointment today that Congress failed to include bipartisan agriculture immigration reform in the omnibus appropriations bill.

The Affordable and Secure Food Act to reform the nation’s agricultural immigration system would have provided much-needed certainty for American agricultural producers and farmers desperately in need of reliable, legal workers. The current omnibus does nothing to address the crippling labor shortage that has had devastating impacts on the nation’s fresh produce industry and American consumers.

“Congress has once again failed to deliver the reforms that the fresh produce industry and its agricultural allies have long fought for. IFPA did its part to reach an agreement with advocates for our workers and garnered bipartisan support for compromise legislation. Additionally, IFPA joined with hundreds of agriculture organizations actively supporting the bill and pushing Senate leadership to bring up the Affordable and Secure Food Act,” said IFPA’s Chief Policy Officer Robert Guenther.

“Congress missed a huge opportunity and did not do their part to improve production and increase the legal supply of labor. Because of this inaction, consumers will continue to see record prices at the grocery store, producers will continue to face unaffordable, unpredictable input costs from out-of-control wage hikes, and we will continue down the path to being a nation that is increasingly food insecure. We implore the Senate to not walk away from this effort before they adjourn,” said Guenther.

IFPA remains deeply committed to leading the push for Congress to reform immigration for the agriculture and food industry. We are grateful for the efforts of bipartisan leaders in both the House and the Senate including Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA), and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) who understand what is at stake for farms and food and boldly pushed for passage of immigration reform in the 117th Congress.

About the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)
The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)?is the largest and most diverse international association serving the entire fresh produce and floral supply chain and the only to seamlessly integrate world-facing advocacy and industry-facing support. We exist to bring the industry together to create a vibrant future for all. We grow our member’s prosperity by conducting advocacy; connecting people and ideas; and offering guidance that allows us all to?take action?with purpose and confidence.? While IFPA is built on the legacy of United Fresh and Produce Marketing Association, it is not just a combination. It is transformational. Recognizing the industry required an even more powerful and unified voice, the leaders of the former United Fresh and Produce Marketing Association chose not to merge, but rather to create an entirely new organization to supersede their organizations, effective January 1, 2022.

Contact: Siobhan May, +1 (302) 781-5855