April 2014 NAPAR Homepage

NAPAR ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT

Mark your calendars and register for NAPAR's annual Pete Class Memorial Golf Tournament. The tournament is scheduled for Saturday, May 17th at Royce Brook Golf Club in Hillsborough, New Jersey.

Enjoy a round of golf with friends and colleagues from the produce industry with a chance to win some great golf and raffle prizes. The tournament features cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places for both low gross and low net as well as for closest to the pin and longest drive.

Raffle prizes feature popular golf and electronic items as well as cash prizes of $1,000 and $3,000. Sponsorships with valuable marketing benefits are also available. Join us at Royce Brook on May 17th.

Registration and breakfast start at 7:30 with a shotgun start at 9:00. The round is followed by a delicious awards luncheon. Use these links to sign up to play in or sponsor NAPAR's Pete Class Memorial Golf Tournament.

FSMA AND PRODUCE WHOLESALERS

As FDA moves toward finalizing the seven new rules it has proposed to implement FSMA it is becoming more and more obvious that produce wholesalers and receivers will be impacted by at least four of them. All produce wholesalers and receivers will have to comply with the regulations that require Hazard Analysis and Preventive Controls for Human Food, Foreign Supplier Verification and Sanitary Transportation. The Third Party Certification rule will be important in helping them comply with the Foreign Supplier Verification rule. All produce wholesalers will have to have a written food safety plan prepared by a qualified individual that can be tested and verified and will be responsible for verifying that their foreign suppliers operate under food safety procedures similar to those used in the U.S. They will have to either certify this themselves or use a third party certifier to vouch for the safety of overseas producers. Last, wholesalers and distributors will have to insure that the rail and truck transportation they use to receive and deliver produce complies with sanitation transportation regulations. These will be substantial new burdens for produce receivers who's registration to conduct business can be revoked if they fail to comply.

US FAMILIES IN WIC NUTRITION PROGRAM TO GET MORE FRESH FRUITS, VEGGIES

Families enrolled in the Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program will be able to get more fresh fruits and vegetables beginning this month, thanks to changes in the program’s “food packages,” which are outlined in a recently published USDA final rule. Under the revisions, the cash value of the fruit and vegetable vouchers for children in the program will rise from $6 to $8 per month. It may not sound like a lot, but in fiscal year 2013, 8.7 million people participated in the WIC program each month. Of those, 2 million were infants and 4.6 million were children up to the age of five.

PRODUCE SAFETY RULE

Last month, FDA announced that it was going to hold a public meeting to discuss the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) it is preparing for its proposed Produce Safety Rule. The meeting, which will also be webcast, will be held in College Park, Maryland on April 4th. The Agency also extended the comment period on the EIS from March 15th to April 18th. If you need more information, call John Motley at NAPAR's office in Washington, D.C.

FRESH FRUIT, VEGETABLE SALES SHOWED 4.8% Growth in 2013

The United Fresh Produce Association has published its 2013 Year in Review and concluded that the average supermarket produce department saw sales last year that were up 4.8 percent over the prior year and that the growing demand for organic produce resulted in dollar and volume increases. Among value-added fruit categories, value-added fruit and fresh-cut fruit both posted increases in weekly dollar sales, while “packaged salad and tomatoes, the two top-selling vegetable categories in 2013, increased dollar sales 6.7% and 3.4 % respectively.” With the Americans continuing to seek out healthy, alternative life-styles and better eating habits, this trend is hopefully going to continue in 2014.

NAPAR BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

The NAPAR board of directors will meet from 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday, May 16th at the Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center in Somerset, N.J., which is close to Royce Brook Golf Club. There will be dinner following the board meeting at a nearby restaurant. Please reserve this date and time on your calendars.

QUICK NEWS YOU CAN USE

  • Agriculture groups say fruit and vegetable farms are scaling back production out of fear that the Congressional stalemate over immigration legislation will leave them without a reliable supply of foreign workers. This is not a new message, but the farm lobby hopes to increase the pressure on Republicans to act on immigration legislation that is stalled in the House of Representatives. Important fruits and vegetables increased their market share by 79 % from 1998-2000 to 2010-2012, according to reports. Because of the slip in market share, U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable growers lost an estimated $4.9 billion in farm income in 2012.

  • Surging prices for food staples from coffee to meat to vegetables are driving up the cost of groceries in the U.S., pinching consumers and companies that are still grappling with a sluggish economic recovery. Federal forecasters estimate retail food prices will rise as much as 3.5% this year, the biggest annual increase in three years, as drought in parts of the U.S. and other producing regions drives up prices for many agricultural goods.

  • The USDA recently posted the latest data from the Pesticide Data Program annual summary and, as in previous years, the agency found that, “U.S. food does not pose a safety concern based upon pesticide residues.” “This is continuing evidence that fruits and vegetables for sale in the U.S. are exceedingly safe, “ says the Alliance for Food and Farming.

  • The White House FY2015 budget has both good and bad for the produce industry. Congressional observers say that on one hand, the budget aims to fund FDA's food safety programs by charging user fees for re-inspections and imports, which we feel Congress is very unlikely to support. On the other hand, the budget seeks funding increases for school nutrition, research and healthy eating initiatives as well as a host of specialty crop programs reported on before.

For more information about NAPAR, Membership, the Pete Class Memorial Golf Tournament, or this Newsletter contact
John Motley at jmotley@policy-solutions.net

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North American Perishable Agricultural Receivers (NAPAR)
1301 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Suite 501 | Washington, DC 20004 | Tel: (202) 360-4949 | Fax: (866) 900-6099