Published online: Aug 08, 2007 Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance
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WASHINGTON, D.C.-The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA), a national coalition of more than 120 specialty crop organizations representing 350 specialty crops, has issued the following statement after passage of the Farm Bill by the U.S. House of Representatives:

"We are very encouraged by the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of the Farm Bill today. For the first time, the Farm Bill recognizes the priorities of an industry that accounts for more than half of all crop value in the country. Our broad-based coalition has worked for more than two years for passage of a bill that is balanced and equitable for the country's specialty crop producers."

"We appreciate the efforts of Speaker Pelosi and her leadership team, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, Congressman Cardoza and members for their support of the bill. As a result of their hard work, our industry is closer to being better equipped to compete in a global marketplace, and Americans will enjoy a safer, healthier and more nutritious food supply."

These priorities were recognized in the Farm Bill:

·    Expand the USDA Fruit & Vegetable Snack Program to all 50 states. The program helps children develop life-long health through consumption of fruits and vegetables
·    Enhance critical trade assistance and market promotion tools that will grow international markets for specialty crops
·    Expand upon research to combat invasive pest and diseases, which cost the economy millions of dollars per year
·    Greater investment in research to improve the taste and quality of foods
·     Expand the "State Specialty Crop Competitiveness" projects in all 50 states based on a proven track record of delivering results for specific local needs