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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced June 27 that it intends to re-charter the Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee for the 2011-13 term.

The advisory committee, which has been re-chartered and approved by the secretary of agriculture every two years since 2001, examines the full spectrum of issues faced by the fruit and vegetable industry.

The committee also advises the secretary on how USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service can tailor its programs to better meet the needs of the fruit and vegetable industry. The exchange of views and information between the industry and government improves the understanding and effectiveness of USDA programs.

The secretary of agriculture will appoint up to 25 representatives from the nation's fruit and vegetable industry to serve up to two three-year terms. The committee, established under the authority of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (Public Law 92-463), will include individuals from fruit and vegetable grower-shippers, wholesalers, brokers, retailers, processors, fresh-cut processors and foodservice suppliers. Individuals from state agencies involved in organic and non-organic fresh fruits and vegetables at local, regional and national levels, state departments of agriculture and trade associations will also be represented.

Written nominations must be received on or before July 20 and should be sent to Robert C. Keeney, deputy administrator, c/o Pamela Stanziani, designated federal officer, Fruit & Vegetable Programs, USDA Room 2077-S, Stop 0235, Washington, DC 20250-0235; faxed to 202/720-0016; or e-mailed to pamela.stanziani@ams.usda.gov.

Members will elect the advisory committee chairman and vice chairman. As deputy administrator of the AMS Fruit & Vegetable Programs, Mr. Keeney will serve as the committee's executive secretary.