WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 25, 2023) – The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA), a national coalition of more than 200 specialty crop organizations representing growers of fruits, vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, nursery plants and other products, this week endorsed legislation that addresses several key priorities in the 2023 Farm Bill:
- Growing Access to Environmental Sustainability Act, introduced by Reps. Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), John Duarte (CA-13), Yadira Caraveo (CO-8), David Rouzer (NC-07), Jim Costa (CA-21), Chuck Edwards (NC-11) and Lori Michelle Chavez-DeRemer (OR-5), which expands specialty crop grower access to conservation programs.
- Specialty Crop Support Act of 2023, introduced by Reps. Elissa Slotkin (MI-7) and Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-5), which extends and enhances the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
- Protecting America’s Orchardists and Nursery Tree Growers Act, introduced by Reps. Bill Huizenga (MI-4) and Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), which expands the eligibility of tree, bush and vine growers for the Tree Assistance Program and modernizes the program.
The SCFBA was established to advocate for the unique needs of specialty crop growers in the Farm Bill and enhance their overall competitiveness in the face of increasing global competition and regulatory and buyer demands. It is led by Co-Chairs Mike Joyner, President of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association; Dave Puglia, President and CEO of Western Growers; and Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council, with Robert Guenther, Chief Public Policy Officer for International Fresh Produce Association, who serves as secretariat for the Alliance.
“Building on critical policy ideas introduced in several marker bills last month, the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance is pleased to see additional coalition recommendations take shape in the form of real legislative language,” the SCFBA Co-Chairs said in a joint statement. “We appreciate our champions in the U.S. House of Representatives for their responsiveness to the needs of growers as we collectively provide American consumers with a safe, abundant supply of healthy produce and other valuable specialty crops.”
Specialty crop production, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery and greenhouse commodities, contributes significantly to the U.S economy, accounting for $64.7 billion in farm gate value and 30 percent of farm cash receipts for crops.