The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association’s (FFVA) 74th Annual Convention took place this week from September 25-27. Lisa Lochridge, director of public affairs for FFVA, said the event went very well.
Lochridge was pleasantly surprised with the turnout, given the even was following Hurricane Irma. “What we found was that people were ready to get away, come fellowship with each other and network,” Lochridge said.
The convention offered attendees a lineup of speakers that presented timely topics. Florida Rep. Jake Raburn was among the speakers at the convention. Raburn gave the State of the Industry Address (link), during which he discussed Hurricane Irma.
The convention also featured workshops that covered important issues for fruit and vegetable growers, such as labor and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). During the labor workshop, attendees were given an update on happenings in Washington, D.C. as people work to improve the H-2A program.
For the NAFTA workshop, attorney Carolyn Gleason addressed the attendees, giving them insight on what has been done in NAFTA renegotiations. Gleason also touched on fruit and vegetable workers trying to get relief from what they feel are unfair trade practices from Mexico. “We were encouraged by what she had to say. She pointed out that this is a marathon, not a sprint. So, we realized we’re in this for the long haul,” Lochridge said.
Overall, Lochridge felt the convention was a great opportunity to come together as one, especially after going through Hurricane Irma. “People were still ready to take a couple of days out of their schedule to come together, and we appreciate that,” Lochridge concluded.
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