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A new association for today. A transformation, not an iteration. The engine to help drive our industry forward. Cathy Burns and Tom Stenzel, the International Fresh Produce Association’s Co-CEOs, talk about the new produce/floral industry association using these and other glowing terms. Having previously served as the CEOs of Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and United Fresh, respectively, Burns and Stenzel believe the role of International Fresh Produce Association is to advocate, connect and guide.

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Undoubtedly, COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on the supply chain. COVID had led to ongoing shortages of products, widespread price increases, and continued supply chain unpredictability. Indeed, when the world economy reopened after largely shutting down at the onset of COVID, supply chains couldn’t keep up with the sudden huge surge in product demand. New COVID variants and various health protocols have also weighed heavily on logistic networks.

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On December 8th, H.R. 4996-Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 easily passed in the House of Representatives on by a vote of 364 to 60. The Act is designed to strengthen the overseas supply chain, support the growth of U.S. exports and eliminate unfair business practices. If this Act becomes law, it will help to ensure that ocean carriers no longer refuse cargo bookings for U.S. exports and that shipping carriers and marine terminal operators certify that any shipping container late fees are fair and comply with federal regulations.

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These days, we’re all familiar with the importance of vaccines. You can read about the success rates of different vaccines and get a certain peace-of-mind. However, as the vaccines move down the supply chain from the production or primary storage facility, the vaccines can lose some of their potency—largely due to temperature abuses the vaccines experience. The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a “Temperature monitoring study: a fully documented process to detect weaknesses in the supply chain” showing why effective temperature monitoring is critical.

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A new queuing system has been developed and implemented to help alleviate port congestion and pollution at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. As of November 16, the system now requires cargo vessels that arrive early at the LA and Long Beach ports to wait 150 miles offshore. Previously the ships were able to stay within a small 40-mile perimeter off the ports. The new system has been developed by the Pacific Maritime Association, the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association and the Marine Exchange of Southern California as well as shipping companies and was signed off on by the twin ports. The new queuing process will not apply to vessels currently in the arrival queue.

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