Tom Stenzel, president and chief executive officer of the United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C., said the Childhood Nutrition Act, which overhauls the school meals program, mandates an extra serving of fruits and vegetables in school lunches.
He said the anti-childhood obesity effort and increased movement of produce in schools should benefit Florida growers.
“I really think we are at a breakthrough moment in terms of consumption,” Stenzel said. “We are finally focused on where it counts, with the kids. The schools are going to be a major factor. Florida is ideally positioned for the school year. Florida production may not be local to some of those Michigan schools, but where else will they get it? The winter production season because of this focus on kids will be a good opportunity for you.”
About 300 people attended this year’s convention, similar to previous years’ attendance, said Lisa Lochridge, FFVA’s director of public affairs.
The FFVA also honored one of its grower leaders and a retailer for promoting Florida produce.