U.S. Reps. Doug Ose (R-Sacramento) and Cal Dooley (D-Hanford) introduced the Specialty Crop Competitiveness Act of 2003, a $630.1 million piece of legislation, during the 108th Congress in Washington D.C.

The goal of the landmark legislation is to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables and the revitalize the fresh produce industry both domestically and internationally. The legislation is the result of months of collaborative effort by Western Growers, state, regional and federal produce leaders.

Working from the edict that a secure domestic food supply is a national security imperative, Western Growers has been facilitating efforts for the past two years with industry groups from throughout the country.

“There are numerous areas of federal legislation and nutrition policy that must be improved to promote a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and increase the viability of producers in the production of affordable fruits and vegetables in the United States,” said Tom Nassif, president of Western Growers. “There has never been a more ambitious endeavor to address the competitiveness of the fruit, vegetable and nut industry. This legislation is an investment that will benefit us all.”