WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 23, 2023) – The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA) today announced that Cathy Burns, Chief Executive Officer of the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA), has joined the coalition as a co-chair.
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. Burns joins sitting 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, in providing direction for the coalition as it works to advance its priorities in the reauthorization of the Farm Bill.
“The Farm Bill is a vitally important bill that ensures our industry is competitive in the global marketplace,” said Burns. “In addition to setting the nation’s agricultural agenda for the next five years, it represents a world of opportunities for fruit, vegetable, and floral producers to access research, programs, and other tools to enhance their growth and prosperity. It is an honor to join the SCFBA as a Co-Chair, and I look forward to advocating for IFPA policy priorities and our members in this leadership role.”
As CEO of IFPA, Burns leads 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. The association’s purpose is to create a vibrant future for all with the members’ prosperity in mind.
Prior to her current role with IFPA, Burns was the CEO of Produce Marketing Association (PMA) from 2013 to 2021 and was integral in bringing the PMA together with the United Fresh Produce Association. Under her leadership, IFPA was launched to serve the global fresh produce and floral industries. Burns previously served as president of Food Lion, Harveys and Reid’s, and was a member of the Delhaize America Executive Committee. She spent 20 years at Hannaford serving in multiple leadership roles across disciplines.
SCFBA is a national coalition of more than 200 specialty crop organizations representing growers of fruits, vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, nursery plants and other products. In early 2023, the alliance released a set of key policy priorities as part of its 2023 Farm Bill recommendations. 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.