The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that it is accepting nominations from fruit and vegetable industry members to fill 10 seats on the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC). Originally chartered in 2001, FVIAC meets two times per year to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on the many issues affecting the fresh fruit and vegetable sector.
What exactly does the committee do?
This Committee provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture on issues related to the produce industry. These recommendations provide guidance on ways the USDA can best tailor programs and services to better meet the sector’s needs.
Members serve a two-year term and are required to attend two meetings per year in the Washington DC metro region and participate in 6-8 Subcommittee teleconference calls.
Who can apply?
Nominees must currently work in one of the agricultural capacities within the retail or commercial produce industry: Growers & Producers, Wholesalers & Distributors, Processors, Importers, Exporters, Farmers Market Managers, Food Hubs, Association Leaders, Retailers and Restauranteurs, Food Service Suppliers and State Departments of Agriculture.
Other factors included in the decision are: organic and conventional produce, geographic location, commodity type and technical expertise such as food safety, quality assurance and supply chain management.
You can nominate yourself or someone else who is interested, qualified and able to serve. Nominees may not be a registered lobbyist at any level of the government.
Why are organic experts needed?
According to the OTA 2016 Industry Survey, organic produce now accounts for over $65B in sales with over 99% of U.S. households reporting that they purchase fresh organic produce. With 5% dollar growth year over year, it’s important that organic producers and experts are fully represented on this federal advisory committee.
Do not delay, apply now!
If you are interested in applying or nominating someone in the organic fresh produce sector, the deadline is September 1st, 2017. Here are application instructions from the USDA’s website: To apply, applicants must submit a cover letter with contact information detailing your qualifications. Include your email address, resume/biographical data, and an Advisory Committee background information form (Form AD-755) (pdf). No resumes or biographies more than five (5) pages are accepted. Send the completed application to: Marlene Betts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit the FVIAC – Charter and Nomination Process website.