ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The health care issue is expected to be a prominent topic addressed at the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association's Fresh World '94 Convention next week.
, which will include 19 workshops, four general sessions and 660 exhibits representing 280 companies, will run from Feb. 12 to 15 at the San Diego Convention Center.
Thomas, lead Republican on the health subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, is expected to discuss what can be done to halt rising health care costs for hard-hit agricultural employers; how to increase access to long-term quality care and the availability of insurance, and the problems of long-term care.
"The political brunch is an ideal time for participants to indicate to lawmakers, regulators and industry colleagues their involvement and concerns about government in the produce industry," said Andrew Moore, UFFVA's manager of congressional affairs.
Another political speaker scheduled for the convention is Rep. Charles W. Stenholm, D-Texas, leader of the conservative Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives. He will outline congressional efforts to rewrite the nation's pesticide laws, balance the budget and pass a health care reform package.
Stenholm will give his address at the luncheon general session on Feb. 14.
John McClung, UFFVA's vice president of government relations and public affairs, said Stenholm is"highly respected by his Congressional colleagues from both parties, [and] has emerged in recent years as one of the most effective strategists in the House. As Deputy Minority Whip, [he is] a tough and talented political straw boss and a true friend of agriculture and the fruit and vegetable industry."
Other featured speakers include Tommy Lasorda, manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Clayton Yeutter, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Henry Voss, secretary of the California Department of Food & Agriculture and Mark Russell, a political satirist.
The program also includes "Produce Outlook '94," a panel discussion of key industry issues by representatives from various sectors. Participants scheduled include Karen Caplan, president and chief executive officer of Frieda's Finest; Robert Castellini, president of Castellini Co.; Thomas Churchwell, president and CEO of Calgene Fresh; Lenny Pippin, CEO of Albert Fisher North America; Jim Richter, director of produce merchandising for Marsh Supermarkets, and Ernie Townsend, president of Dole Food Co. North America. The moderator is Tom Stenzel, president of UFFVA.
Also scheduled is a meeting of the Produce Pallet Working Group to discuss the advancement of industrywide adoption of reusable 48-inch by 40-inch pallets. It will be held on Sunday at 8 a.m. in room 17B of the convention center.
The agenda includes reports from: the California Strawberry Commission on the use of retooled baskets; the state's Grape and Tree Fruit League on research; the Calavo Growers of California on the move to the reusable pallet in the avocado industry, and the National Association of Perishable Agricultural Receivers on the SPEC-M pallet program.