The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA) has released its recommendations for the 2023 Farm Bill. A letter was also sent to Agriculture Committee leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate highlighting priorities for the upcoming farm bill. The recommendations come from outreach with industry members, including more than 60 meetings with 12 workgroups representing 41 organizations.
Five core principles have been outlined by the coalition. Consumer health and expanding access to affordable, nutritious food has been noted as a key factor for SCFBA. Sustainability of the specialty crop industry through proportional and adequate farm bill resources is also a central aspect of SCFBA priorities. SCFBA also encourages sustained federal investment into research to ensure the U.S. industry can remain competitive in a global market. Other investments in trade are being encouraged, including the elimination of trade barriers and the promotion of U.S. crops in foreign markets. SCFBA also points out a need for increasing access to conservation programs and other initiatives that help to address climate goals.
“We are proud to support the recommendations set forth by the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance,” said Ian LeMay, California Fresh Fruit Association President. “The Association is a longstanding member of this important coalition and looks forward to supporting these initiatives to ensure that agriculture in the United States remains viable for generations to come. Congress has a unique opportunity to help fortify and propel U.S. agriculture to meet the demands of a 21st century agriculture economy. We hope that they will join us in thinking boldly to meet this moment.”
SCFBA is comprised of more than 200 organizations representing fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery plants, and other products. A total of 109 specific recommendations are outlined in the document, covering eight farm bill titles. The priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill “represent the most comprehensive set of ideas to date” for the SCFBA.