The United Fresh Produce Association is set to kick off a series of virtual meet-and-greet sessions with new members of Congress on Jan. 11.
The three-month series, being conducted over Zoom, will offer United Fresh member companies the chance to have an audience with many of the 67 freshman members of the U.S. House and Senate. So far in January, United Fresh has meet-and-greets scheduled with seven freshman representatives (six Republicans and one Democrat) and one freshman senator (Roger Marshall, R-Kan.).
The meetings' aim is to "make members of Congress aware of the critical issues that businesses across our supply chain are faced with," United Fresh stated in a news release. All United Fresh members are eligible to participate. Members are encouraged to "share personal testimony of how actions taken in Washington directly affect you, your community and the produce industry overall."
Among United Fresh's legislative priorities for 2021, according to the association's website, are debt relief for produce distributors affected by state- and locally mandated COVID-19-related restaurant and hospitality closures, liability protections for employers operating in good faith, priority access to COVID-19 vaccines and PPE for front-line workers, and advocating for immigration reform. Included in that last item is the reintroduction of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which the U.S. House passed in 2019 but it failed to move in the Senate.