2016 FFVA Convention Speakers Address Major Topics

Kelsey Fry Legislative, Research, Top Posts, Tropical Fruit, Vegetables

Commissioner Adam Putnam

Commissioner Adam Putnam

The 73rd annual Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA) convention is wrapping up another successful year. The convention, held at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, gathered a crowd of over 400, says Lisa Lochridge, director of public affairs for FFVA.

Lochridge says that the goal of this year’s convention, like every other year, is to provide FFVA members with information and news that they care about.

The issues forums covered three major, timely topics:

  1. “Discussing GMOs: A Marathon, not a Sprint” focused on how to talk to the public about GMOs. The speaker was Kavin Senapathy, co-executive director of the international pro-science, pro-biotech organization March Against Myths.
  2. The “Election 2016: Where Do We Go from Here?” forum gave thought-provoking ideas about how this upcoming election could affect industries, specifically in relation to immigration and water. Kam Quarles, director of legislative affairs for the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery, and Rep. Katie Edwards of the Florida House of Representatives led the forum.
  3. The last issues forum at the convention was “Global Markets: A Produce Perspective.” The speakers spoke about trade issues with food security at ports and the global market. Wade Elliott, vice president of marketing and business development for Port Tampa Bay; Dan Richey, president and CEO of Riverfront Packing; and Bill Messina with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences led the forum.

Commissioner Adam Putnam spoke at the awards luncheon, addressing issues facing the state, including Zika virus, algae-bloom and water conservation.

Keynote speaker, Mike Allen, chief White House correspondent for Politico Magazine, spoke about his experience and offered information on the upcoming presidential election and the current political issues.

Lochridge said that the convention provided industry members with plenty of networking opportunities. A fishing excursion and golf tournament wrapped up the 2016 FFVA convention.

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