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United Fresh Produce Association (UFPA) has applauded the administration for the announcement to ease restrictions on H-2A and H-2B employees that play a 'vital role' in the US food system.

The US Department of Agriculture, on behalf of the federal government, released updated guidance for both workers and employers who utilise the H-2A and H-2B visa programmes.

This is a direct result of United Fresh’s actions to ensure that all foreign workers in agriculture are recognised as vital and essential to food supply in the US.

“United Fresh members play an essential role in ensuring the safety of the nation and the world’s food security,' said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of United Fresh. “We are grateful for the administration’s recognition of our part in keeping food moving from farm to table.

'We will continue to monitor the implementation and application of these revised regulations and ensure that the fresh fruit and vegetable industry has access to the workers that keep our food economy going during these uncertain times,' he added.

The announcement by USDA on behalf of the federal government includes prioritisation for agricultural workers attempting to enter the US under an H-2A or H-2B visa, regardless of their previous work history.