North Carolina Fruit and Vegetable Industry Council: A Prospective
The fruit, vegetable, nut, and herb industries are a critical part of North Carolina’s economy, providing the state with billions of dollars in sales and economic impact and employing thousands of workers. North Carolina ranks 6th among US states in farm income and is a top ten producer of sweet potatoes (#1 state), apples, bell peppers, blueberries, cabbage, cucumbers, grapes, snap beans, squash, strawberries, tomatoes and watermelons. These industries face many critical challenges including finding employees, ensuring access to sufficient water, handling regulations, increasing efficiency, solving production and postharvest issues, and marketing.
The Mission of the North Carolina Fruit and Vegetable Industry Council (FVIC) will be to:
- Provide one voice on issues of shared importance to:
- Local, state and federal government
- Universities and non-governmental organizations
- General public
- Promote edible horticulture crops and the businesses that grow, distribute, and market them
- Provide a forum for discussion of issues, such as food safety and GAPs training, among members
- Work with the NC Green Industry Council (GIC) on joint advocacy and promotions.
The FVIC would be composed of members from each fruit, vegetable, nut, and herb association, with an Executive Committee of a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and past president. Additional members and advisors would be included, possibly in a manner similar to that of the GIC. Potential member organizations would include Horticulture Council Groups.
FVIC Organization & Objectives:
The FVIC would be governed by industry leaders. It would hold quarterly meetings, form a political action committee, and hire a lobbyist at the state or federal level. The organization would not replace any other organizations and would support its member associations by joining forces whenever possible to make strong statements in support of horticulture backed by thousands of individual and business members of constituent associations, billions of dollars of sales and economic impact across horticulture, and hundreds of thousands of employees. The Horticulture Council would facilitate discussion and interactions between the FVIC, the GIC, and other horticultural organizations. Click here for a draft version of the FVIC by-laws.
The FVIC would be funded by a combination of member dues, fundraising, and donations. One possible dues structure would be similar to that of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA).