Carole L. Jaworski
John VanSickle (352) 392-1826 ext. 221
Mary Lamberts (305) 248-3311 ext. 234
GAINESVILLE – “Developing Opportunities for South Florida Vegetable Growers” is the theme of an all-day University of Florida workshop slated for Oct. 23 in Homestead. The workshop will take place at the County Agricultural Center beginning at 9 a.m.
The purpose of the workshop is to help Florida vegetable growers and shippers find ways to improve their competitiveness in the winter fresh vegetable market. South Florida growers and shippers have faced increased competition from Mexico since 1992 when Florida fresh vegetable shipments and revenues were at an all-time high. Since then, the passage of NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) and the devaluation of the peso have led to surges in imports from Mexico.
“The workshop represents an opportunity for the Florida vegetable industry to develop an agenda for positive change that will cement their future in this critical agricultural sector and help consumers gain assurances that a reliable supply of high quality, safe food reaches their table,” said John VanSickle, UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences food and resource economics professor and workshop organizer.
Workshop topics will cover three main areas: policy issues, grower and shipper initiatives and technology issues.
The workshop is free. Registration is on-site the day of the event.
Hosting the workshop are the UF/IFAS Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the Florida Tomato Exchange, the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, and the Florida Farm Bureau.
For more information, call VanSickle at (352) 392-1826, ext. 221 or Mary Lamberts, Dade County Extension agent, at (305) 248-3311, ext. 234.