Jul 21, 2016
New SAF Partnership Will Help Advance ‘Major Policy Priorities’

The Society of American Florists (SAF) has partnered with Cornerstone Government Affairs to advocate for issues that affect the floral industry. Cornerstone is a public affairs firm specializing in government relations, strategic consulting and advocacy.

“We’ll continue to move major policy priorities forward on behalf of small business and agriculture,” said Peter Moran, SAF CEO.

Horticultural and agricultural issues of primary concern to SAF members include access to labor, immigration, crop protection, international trade and other matters related to the day-to-day operations of growers.

Before she retired this year, SAF lobbyist Lin Schmale dedicated more than 20 years of her career to representing the floriculture industry in Washington, D.C. SAF’s partnership with Cornerstone will build on Schmale’s legacy, SAF said.

Shawn McBurney, SAF’s senior director of government relations, will continue to represent the floral industry on Capitol Hill on issues that impact the broader SAF membership, such as health care, immigration reform, taxes, minimum wage, overtime and other labor issues.

SAF’s immediate focus will be on advocacy to increase research funding for the floriculture industry, through the Farm Bill and the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative; improve access to crop protection and production tools; and address import regulation challenges. Cornerstone will also advise SAF on regulatory issues affecting immigration.

In addition, Cornerstone will represent SAF on USDA-APHIS regulatory issues, including customs and border patrol, pests and diseases, and support efforts to innovate and sustain crop production tools including biotechnology.

Spearheading the advocacy effort will be Gruenburg from SAF, Cornerstone team leader Joe Bischoff, and colleagues Hunt Shipman, Alice Gomez, and Jeremy Witte.

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