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Grimmway, senator honored as industry advocates at IFPA Washington Conference

grimmway advocate of the year
Grimmway VP of External Affairs and Corporate Responsibility Dana Brennan accepted the Produce Industry Advocate of the Year award on Grimmway’s behalf at The Washington Conference. (Courtesy IFPA)

June 20, 2024 Washington, DC – Amid the Congressional visits and policy discussions with lawmakers and regulatory leaders held last week during the International Fresh Produce Association’s BB #:378962 The Washington Conference, both Grimmway Farms BB #:112956 and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) were recognized with the Produce Industry Advocate of the Year Award and the inaugural IFPA Fresh Impact Lifetime Achievement Award, respectively, for their ongoing leadership and support of fresh produce.

“The Produce Industry Advocate of the Year award goes to an IFPA member that goes the extra mile to elevate and support the industry in public policy advocacy. The Advocate of the Year makes a company-wide commitment to engaging with elected officials and government policymakers actively and often,” said IFPA Vice President of U.S. Government Relations Rebeckah Adcock.

“Grimmway is a steadfast champion of our work on everything from pushing for labor reforms to supporting federal nutrition policy. They consistently answer the call to amplify our advocacy efforts across their organization, with CEO Jeff Huckaby being a Past Grower Shipper Council Chair and Russ Hamlin, PhD. currently leading our Organics Committee,” Adcock noted.

Grimmway Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Responsibility Dana Brennan accepted the award on Grimmway’s behalf. Brennan also serves on the IFPA Government Relations Council.

“Receiving the Advocate of the Year Award is a great honor for Grimmway Farms. We are committed to our mission of bringing fresh, safe, and healthy produce to communities around the world and in doing so, will continue to advocate for the needs of the entire produce industry, an industry that plays an increasingly vital role in feeding the world,” said Jeff Huckaby, Grimmway President and CEO.

During the IFPA Fresh Influence dinner supporting FreshPAC, the organization honored and thanked Senator Stabenow for a career of public service marked with unwavering support for fresh produce and specialty crops. Earlier this year, the Senator announced she would not seek re-election in 2024.

“As Chair of the Senate Ag Committee, Senator Stabenow has been one of our most consistent Congressional champions on agricultural issues ranging from the Farm Bill, nutrition, crop insurance inclusion and expansion, and specialty crop research,” said IFPA CEO Cathy Burns. “She is responsible for establishing the Specialty Crop Title in the 2008 Farm Bill, and as partisan and challenging as this legislation can be, she has been integral in ensuring that specialty crop priorities are elevated and included in federal programs.”

Burns also highlighted the Senator’s other accomplishments, including:
• Shepherding nationwide expansion of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
• Incorporating the first-ever fruit and vegetable incentives in the Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (aka GUSNIP).
• Championing the updating of nutrition standards for school meals.
• Leading efforts to fight the repeal of fruit and vegetable serving requirements in school meals.

“Consider this: Because of Senator Stabenow, high school seniors graduating in 2024 have always known school meals that include a fruit and vegetable. Talk about impact!” Burns remarked.

Burns closed her commentary with “the Senator has led from the front on policies impacting fresh produce for decades and has been a friend of, and force for, our industry. We deeply appreciate her leadership and contributions to our community.”

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