WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced the names of members of the new Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee.

Originally chartered in 2001, the advisory committee advises the Secretary of Agriculture on issues affecting the fruit and vegetable industry. In June 2005, Johanns approved a new two-year charter for this committee.

The 25 members were selected from individuals nominated by their peers. Committee members represent fresh fruit and vegetable growers/shippers, fresh fruit and vegetable wholesalers, retailers, industry trade associations, importers, fruit and vegetable processors, foodservice suppliers, fresh-cut processors, brokers and state departments of agriculture. Each member is appointed to a two-year term. Seven of the members are incumbents from the previous advisory committee.

USDA will schedule the committee's first meeting for Spring 2006 in the Washington, D.C., area.

Further information about the first meeting will be published in the Federal Register and at www.ams.usda.gov/fv. Information can also be obtained by e-mailing robert.keeney@usda or calling (202) 720-4722.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 provides for the establishment and operation of advisory committees within the executive branch of the federal government.

SOURCE: USDA news release.