Given the fact that Monday was spent relaxing by most of us, the rest of the week will be fairly frenetic. Wednedsay,  there is a Senate Appropriations hearing at 3 p.m. where the committee will consider adoption of the  FY 2012 Agriculture/FDA/Homeland Security appropriations bill. There may be a little drama about the status of USDA rulemaking relative to school nutrition standards.

Also, Farmworker Justice will have a press conference expected to highlight what they consider to be abuses of guest worker programs. The FDA is also expected to brief stakeholders on food traceability, and the USDA will have a press conference on household food security issues.

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee will consider Chairman Lamar Smith's "American Specialty Agriculture Act ." The legislation is expected to advocate for changes to the agricultural guest worker program, but industry sources are unsure if it will have enough reform to make mandatory E-verify palatable.

A couple of stories that caught my eye today.

J 1 Visas - America's Sweatshop Diplomacy Hershey's looks bad, but does ag use some of these student visas too?

America's Top 20 Farmers' Markets  Get psyched (yawn)

Bugs on the menu - Could insects be new food source for swelling global population?

Department of Defense produce supplier opportunity in Colorado Can't win if you don't play

President Obama on Obesity Awareness Month for September    Don't say he hasn't tried to get us off the couch


Food for thought from the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group.. Responding to the question: If there is one thing you could stop people in the produce industry from doing, what would it be?

Carsten said:

That suppliers stop throwing own brands away, in favour of supplying fruit and vegetables under supermarket brands. It is unfortunately widespread and something the supermarkets are keen to increase, but it makes suppliers expendable, suddenly the consumer does not know the real supplier anymore. Maybe they promise large orders, in the beginning, but through this they can take control and dictate terms to their suppliers in the future - and once it becomes unsustainable to the supplier and they have to put their foot down - they are easily replaceable, the consumer will never know! Too many well established suppliers have gone out of business this way.