Members of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) held their annual meeting on May 29, 2019 in Nogales, Arizona. This year the FPAA is celebrating 75 years as an association and the annual meeting was an opportunity for members to discuss key events that will be held throughout the year to celebrate the anniversary. In addition, the annual meeting is the opportunity to vote for board members to fill the terms that ended this May.
FPAA chairman, Scott Vandervoet from Vandervoet & Associates, spoke to the membership about the Tomato Suspension Agreement, political issues in Washington, D.C., the importance of creating ties with neighboring states, and the importance of working together as an association.
FPAA president, Lance Jungmeyer, talked about a variety of activities and opportunities that the association has been working on over the past year, including the Tomato Suspension Agreement, USMCA renegotiation efforts, important infrastructure improvements, Mexico and Washington, DC advocacy, and more.
Jimmy Munguia (center).
The FPAA also voted to approve a $250,000 loan to the Greater Nogales and Santa Cruz County Port Authority for the construction of a Cold Inspection Facility at the Mariposa Port of Entry. Earlier this week the state approved $700,000 toward the project. Santa Cruz County also has approved up to $250,000 toward the project. Design plans for the project are being considered.
Jungmeyer also discussed the 51st Nogales Produce Convention & Golf Tournament, which is set to take place this year on Nov. 7-9.
Before electing board members, Jungmeyer presented the FPAA Member of the Year Award. The Member of the Year is someone who goes above and beyond in working for the betterment of the membership. This year’s recipient was Jimmy Munguía of Del Campo Supreme. Munguia is Chairman of the FPAA Tomato Division, and he testified before the Arizona state legislature about how terminating the Tomato Suspension Agreement would harm the state’s economy.
“Jimmy has earned the respect of his peers because of a steady demeanor, and a wise outlook,”: Jungmeyer said. “He has also made himself available to serve his peers in the association with his knowledge and expertise. He is a fighter – our fighter.”
During the meeting, FPAA members elected eight distributor directors and two associate directors to the FPAA board. The distributor directors are as follows: Raquel Espinoza of Produce House, Juan Manuel Ibarra of Marengo Foods, James Martin of Wilson Produce, Juan Pablo Molina of Fresh Farms, Atanasio Panousopoulos of Delta Fresh, Walter Ram of Giumarra Companies, Rod Sbragia of Tricar, and Mikee Suarez of MAS Melons & Grapes.
Sabrina Hallman of Sierra Seed Company LLP was re-elected for a one-year term as associate member director. Chuck Thomas of Thomas Produce, who has served on the Board in numerous years, was re-elected for a one-year term as associate member director.
The FPAA members re-elected Jimmy Munguia of Del Campo Supreme, as chairman of the FPAA Tomato Division. Chris Ciruli of Ciruli Brothers continues as chairman of the FPAA Mango Division. John Pandol of Pandol Brothers also continues as the chairman of the FPAA Grape Division.