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National Vegetable Crop Initiative Workshop

Investigators
Pierce, Francis
Institutions
Washington University
Start date
2007
End date
2008
Objective
A national workshop will be held within the project timeline that will focus primarily on the refinement and further development of the draft strategic research and extension plan for vegetable crops developed by the National Vegetable Crop Initiative (NVCI) steering committee.

The intent of this workshop is to obtain industry input into a finalized plan that, when implemented, will enhance the capability of the US vegetable industry to provide a sustained, safe supply of highly nutritious vegetables to support the continual improvement of the health of all American consumers.

This workshop will seek to chart a course for public and private investments in vegetable crops for the next ten years through innovation in research, education and extension focused on new technologies that increase vegetable quality, food safety, production efficiency, sustainability, and ultimately vegetable consumption.

More information
Non-Technical Summary: The vegetable crop industry is threatened because specialty crop producers and processors face numerous, urgent, and escalating challenges, including competition from lower-cost foreign producers; cost, quality, and availability of labor, land, water, and power resources; continual pest and disease pressures; increasing regulatory constraints, and threats to food safety, both domestic and global. This industry is now engaged in an initiative process through the National Vegetable Crop Initiative (NVCI) to identify threats and barriers to the industry and define strategic means to mitigate their impact. The NVCI committee has formulated a preliminary draft of a strategic plan for research and extension for vegetable crops. This workshop will obtain industry input to further refine and develop the NVCI plan so that when implemented, it will enhance the capability of the US vegetable industry to provide a sustained, safe supply of highly nutritious vegetables to support the continual improvement of the health of all American consumers. This workshop will seek to chart a course for public and private investments in vegetable crops for the next ten years through innovation in research, education and extension focused on new technologies that increase vegetable quality, food safety, production efficiency, sustainability, and ultimately vegetable consumption.

Approach: The current draft of the vegetable crop initiative focuses on four major goals and objectives around which this workshop will be organized: 1. To improve the efficiency of production, processing and distribution of vegetables such that we remain globally competitive in the face of increasing environmental, labor, transportation and other costs. 2. To establish clear definitions, standards and the infrastructure necessary for achieving sustainable production that maintains product quality, biological safety and global competitiveness. 3. To increase their vegetable consumption sufficiently to meet USDA guidelines for consumption. 4. To implement policies, procedures, monitoring systems and enforcement necessary to assure the ongoing safety of the food supply. To ensure that workshop discussion and outcomes are well grounded and incorporate biological, technological, and human dimensions, there will be participation by industry representatives, scientists, and policy makers as well as University and Federal Agency administrators. Invited presentations will provide insights into threats and barriers facing the vegetable crop industry, an overview of current technologies that are, in the near-term, applicable to production and processing problems, and future trends in technology that will contribute to the development of medium and long-term solutions to the more complex and difficult problems facing this industry. Facilitators will assist participants in focusing on research, extension, and educational needs for the vegetable crop industry so that a clear, unified NVCI document will emerge from this workshop. To that end, the workshop will be organized into plenary sessions early in the workshop followed by small breakout group discussions. The plenary sessions will define the rationale and significance of a vegetable crop initiative, outline the current state of the vegetable crop industry, describe existing and emerging technologies of importance to solution discovery, and stimulate ideas and encourage discussion in subsequent small breakout groups. The breakout sessions will be focused on identifying threats/barriers to vegetable crop production and processing in the US, scoping of potential solutions, and prioritizing research and extension efforts relative to short, medium and long-term efforts. A short, plenary session will reconvene at the end of the first day to review breakout group results and to refocus participants on the tasks associated with developing the vegetable crop initiative document. The final plenary session of the workshop will provide an overview of workshop accomplishments and outline work to be done to complete the initiative document.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
WNP04552
Accession number
211777
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Food Defense and Integrity