Produce Marketing Association (PMA) has joined the steering committee for the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA), a coalition focused on defining and promoting shared climate policy priorities. The Alliance consists of organizations representing agribusinesses, farmers, ranchers, the food sector, state governments and environmental advocates. PMA joins the four founding members--American Farm Bureau Federation, Environmental Defense Fund, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and National Farmers Union--and 12 other members.
FACA has identified the new steering committee and clarified the group’s priorities and principles. The three guiding principles include:
- Agricultural and forestry climate policies must be built upon voluntary, incentive-based programs and market-driven opportunities;
- They must promote resilience and adaptation in rural communities; and
- They must be science based.
FACA previously released 40 recommendations over six areas of focus: soil health, energy, food loss and waste, forests and wood products, energy, research and livestock and dairy. They are outlined in a 50-page report and summarized in a one-page hand-out found on the FACA website. Congress and the Biden Administration have requested additional guidance on how to achieve the goals laid out in these recommendations and FACA is creating working groups to provide specific and actionable proposals.
“For any incentive program to be meaningful, it has to be simple, transparent and provide tangible, immediate benefits,” said PMA’s Dr. Max Teplitski, chief science officer. “PMA sees it as our responsibility to ensure that, in collaboration with environmental groups, trade associations and non-profits, we help drive the conversation on how to make these incentives meaningful.”
PMA has often stated the importance of being at the tables where conversations are taking place that shape policy and regulations impacting our industry. Teplitski stressed this point but also added that the industry has invaluable contributions to provide based on a rich history of innovative and pioneering agricultural practices.
“While members of our industry don’t typically work with large acreages associated with row-crop production or grazing on public lands, our industry pioneered organic and regenerative agriculture,” said Teplitski. “We already implemented practices such as mulches, soil amendments and cover crops that build soil carbon. Let’s also not forget perennial crops--tree fruits, many berries and nuts--that sequester carbon at levels similar to forests. It is time our industry is recognized for its efforts and C-sequestering practices are financially incentivized and supported.”
The alliance welcomes additional members. Questions about membership or the recommendations can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. PMA will continue providing updates on the progress and accomplishments of the FACA working groups.