FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2009
FPAA Incorporates Food Safety, Security Meetings and Annual Produce Convention
The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) is hosting its Second Annual Trade Meetings on Food Safety, Security, and Importing Procedures on November 12 and 13, 2009. The event is planned to coincide with the FPAA's 41st Annual Produce Convention and Golf Tournament.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Department of Commerce will all be speaking during the two-day event. These agencies play significant roles in the importation of fresh fruits and vegetables, and the Trade Meetings are an excellent way for companies to speak directly with officials that have oversight for imported produce.
The two days of interactive meetings will be held on November 12 and 13, 2009, and this year the meetings will also coincide with the FPAA's Annual Produce Convention and Golf Tournament, which begins on November 12 and continues through November 14.
"The response from our trade meetings last year was outstanding, and we are excited that we could work with our government partners to have this forum again," says FPAA public relations director, Amy Adams.
These meetings are targeted to a diverse audience, from U.S. importers to growers, customhouse brokers, and other companies involved in providing fresh fruits and vegetables to consumers across North America. The FPAA feels that by hosting the meetings in coordination with the Annual Produce Convention, more people will have the opportunity to take advantage of the educational meetings in addition to networking with their peers during the Convention's regularly scheduled networking functions.
"Open dialogue and face-to-face meetings are a great way to continue to work more closely with our government agencies," says FPAA chairman, Chris Ciruli. "It's important to revisit ongoing issues, changes, and improvements with out government partners to ensure that we are complying fully with current requirements, to discuss what practices we can change to better meet these requirements, and to position ourselves to meet future changes."
The Trade Meetings and the Convention will all be held at the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, which is located a few miles north of Nogales, Arizona, the largest port of entry for fresh fruits and vegetables imported from Mexico. Tubac is also conveniently located just 45 minutes south of the Tucson International Airport. Companies interested in registering for the event or that have more questions are encouraged to contact the FPAA office at (520) 287-2707. Due to the popularity of these meetings, and the limited seating, people are encouraged to register soon.
Thursday, November 12, 2009. 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
• Import Process: Role of the Investigator/Filer/Importer
• PREDICT (this is a new program that is going to be implemented and most likely working by the time we meet for this event)
• Compliance Issues: Compliance Process
Import for Export
• FDA Filer Audits
• Mobile Lab (future of Mobile Lab)
• Import Safety Plan (What has been implemented and what is pending)
Friday, November 13, 2009. 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Department of Commerce, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Department of Agriculture
DOC - Review of the Tomato Suspension Agreement
CBP and USDA
• CBP Ag Inspections
• Compliance Issues
• USDA-APHIS Programs
• Cargo Statistics
• Mariposa Redesign Contingency Plan
• H1N1 Contingency Plans
About the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas:
The FPAA is a nonprofit trade association headquartered in Nogales, Arizona, that represents over 100 U.S. member companies involved in growing, packing, sales and transportation of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Mexico. The FPAA leverages the efforts of private companies and partner-associations to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetable from Mexico. Produce from Mexico accounts for approximately 25 percent of fruit and vegetable consumption in the U.S. during the winter months. The Mariposa Port of Entry located in Nogales, Arizona is the largest port of entry for fresh produce imported into the U.S. from Mexico.