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IFPA director named to Wilson Center Task Force on Ag Labor

hollay Wilson Center Task Force on Ag Labor
(left) Agustin Escobar Latapi, a global fellow of the Wilson Center and Director, Jornaleros en la Agricultura Mexicana de Exportacion, and IFPA Director of U.S. Government Relations John Hollay

April 3, 2024 Washington, DC – As part of the International Fresh Produce Association’s BB #:378962 ongoing public policy efforts to find workable and practical solutions to the farm labor crisis impacting many fresh fruit and vegetable growers across the United States, the organization and its members often offer their expertise and experiences to policymakers and regulators to advance immigration priorities.

Recently, IFPA Director of U.S. Government Relations John Hollay was named to a multi-stakeholder and bi-national task force convened by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars that aims to develop a series of evidence-based policy recommendations to improve labor recruitment and employment conditions for farm workers throughout North America.

This work is part of an overarching project titled “Agriculture in North America–From Knowledge to Action” that will assess agricultural labor conditions in Mexico and the United States. A final task force report is expected in early 2025.

Chartered by Congress, the Wilson Center provides nonpartisan counsel and insights on global affairs to policymakers through deep research, impartial analysis, and independent scholarship. As part of the task force’s work, it recently toured production facilities in Mexico and met with legislative and regulatory officials to explore solutions to the farmworker labor challenge.

“The opportunity to serve on this Task Force and ensure that IFPA member voices are represented has been invaluable,” said Hollay. “Ensuring that we have the workforce that is ready to meet the challenge of feeding a growing world is integral to the health of our planet and its people, and the success of our industry. I am honored to represent IFPA and its members on this task force to ensure that its recommendations align with how the fresh produce operates.”

“For years, the fresh produce industry and our agriculture sector partners have made an overwhelming case for legislation to reform our broken immigration system and help build a legal and reliable workforce, especially now that the USDA expects the U.S. to import more food than it exports starting this year,” he added.

In 2024, IFPA has called on its members to contact Congress to enlist bipartisan consensus for the Supporting Farm Operations Act (HR 7046), which freezes AEWR increases for two years, giving immediate relief and certainty for the industry to perform while Congress works on broader reforms that will bring stability to the labor force and long-term food security for the nation.

In addition, IFPA has provided comments to both the Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security, wherein the organization reinforced its commitment to building a workable H-2A program that is fair to employers and employees alike, but not at the expense of bad policy based on flawed theory that will jeopardize the future of the fresh produce industry.

Additional resources on fresh produce workforce can be found on the IFPA website.

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.

Contact: Ashley Sempowski, +1 (202) 303-3406