WASHINGTON, D.C. — One of the first tangible effects of the government shutdown on the fresh produce industry was the relocation of the United Fresh Produce Association’s Washington Public Policy Conference’s popular Fresh Festival reception.
Originally planned for the House of Representatives Rayburn building the evening of Oct. 1, United Fresh president Tom Stenzel said in an e-mail sent late the afternoon of Sept. 30 that hosting the event on Capitol Hill was impossible.
“We have been advised by the Capitol Hill police and the House of Representatives catering service that we will not be able to host Fresh Festival in the Rayburn building in that event,” Stenzel said.
Instead, this year’s Fresh Festival will occur 5:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 1 at the nearby Hyatt Regency, the site of the WPPC event.
Stenzel said members of Congress, their chiefs of staff and key legislative aides will still be invited, though it is unknown if their schedules would allow them to attend.
The government shutdown was also expected to disrupt the March on Capitol Hill, a grassroots lobbying event where WPPC participants go in groups to Congressional offices to lobby for industry issues. That event is planned for 2:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 1.
Stenzel said some members of Congress plan to cancel meetings in the event of a government shutdown, while other offices were uncertain of their plans.