The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas and Farmers for Free Trade hosted a panel to speak out about the value of trade. ( Fresh Produce Association of the Americas )

A panel of produce industry leaders in Nogales, Ariz., spoke in favor of free trade and against the threatened Trump administration imposition of tariffs on Mexican goods.

In a panel assembled by the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas June 4, industry leaders were joined by a representative from Farmers for Free Trade, according to a news release.
Panelists at the event were:

  • Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas;
  • Chris Ciruli, partner with Ciruli Brothers Inc.;
  • Jaime Chamberlain, president of Chamberlain Distributing, Inc.;
  • Ricardo Crisantes, chief commercial officer for Wholesum Family Farms;
  • Bruce Bracker, supervisor of Santa Cruz County; and 
  • Angela Hoffmann, co-founder of Farmers for Free Trade. 

Hoffman said in the release that Farmers for Free Trade has been traveling across the country and talking with lawmakers, government officials and industry leaders about the importance of trade for the U.S. economy.

“Through Nogales, Arizona we have been importing Mexican fruits and vegetables to North American consumers for over a century and we are an extremely proud group of people and individuals who bring these fruits and vegetables to American tables, we take our jobs extremely serious and it’s a responsibility we take and we know what we are bringing to the U.S., it is our mission is to deliver our products to American consumers,” Chamberlain said at the event.

Ciruli spoke about the importance of providing U.S. consumers with fresh fruits and vegetables, according to the release. 

Jungmeyer emphasized the economic clout of produce imports in Santa Cruz County, “Produce is about 25% of the jobs in this county, there’s a lot of jobs and we need these jobs and these employers here,” he said at the event.