Oct 27, 2010
11:20 AMThe Wind Machine
PMA/United: A Dark View
● The two major trade associations for the nation’s fruit and vegetable industry are the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and the United Fresh Produce Association (United), with the NHC active in each. The two have overlapping, but not entirely congruent, goals and missions that serve to drive a healthy competiveness (optimistic view) or a wasteful duplication of effort (dark view).
Three PMA/United items caught my eye this past month: (1) next year United’s popular Washington Public Policy Conference is set for the week of October 3. This timing puts it one week in advance of PMA’s 2011 convention in Atlanta, which is scheduled to start on October 14. Usually these two big industry events are about a month apart, which allows for easier attendance at both for those interested; (2) PMA announced at its convention in Orlando that it is reforming its internal goverence structure to reflect a more expansive view of its role, including that of government relations. Federal GR work has been viewed as United’s core function; and, (3) United announced on October 7 the hiring of Dr. Barry Eisenberg to help Dr. Dave Gombas with food safety issues. This now allows United to better match up with PMA’s food safety staff, led by Dr. Bob Whitaker.
● Monte Lake, an immigration attorney with many agricultural clients, has informed me that he is now practicing law with the firm of CJ Lake in Washington, D.C. (He previously was with Siff & Lake, which has disbanded.) Mr. Lake is probably the number one expert on the effects of national immigration law on agricultural employers. Our working relationship goes back to the early 1980s when I was in the leadership of the Farm Labor Alliance and Mr. Lake was the lead attorney for that western agricultural coalition, which no longer exists, whose work of the time was ultimately reflected in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.