January 2014 NAPAR Homepage

NAPAR PARTICIPATES AT NY PRODUCE SHOW

For the second year in a row, NAPAR was an exhibitor at the annual December New York Produce Show. Manning the NAPAR booth were John Motley, NAPAR President and Barry Scher. The objective of being an exhibitor at the show was to inform and educate produce executives about NAPAR and the benefits of membership. “Aside from getting the NAPAR name in front of so many diverse produce people, being at the show provided us with an opportunity to showcase to those who stopped by our booth the Food Safety Plan Builder and Template that was developed by Leavitt Partners in conjunction with NAPAR,” explained John Motley. “We feel that this important tool alone is a tremendous membership benefit explaining the necessity for a formal Food Safety Plan. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires produce industry wholesalers and receivers to develop one or more written Food Safety Plans for their business operations ”.

Note: Last October NAPAR sent both electronic and printed copies of both the Food Safety Plan Building and Template to all members. If you need an additional copy or have any questions, please contact John Motley at (202) 360-4949.

NAPAR BOARD MEETS

Taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the New York Produce Show the NAPAR Board of Directors formally met on December 10 at the New York Hilton Hotel. Attending the semi-annual meeting were Chairman Joe Procacci, 1st Vice Chairman Derrick Jenkins, 2nd Vice Chairman Jay Rosenstein and board members Alan Siger, John Vena, T.J. Rahll and Bill Class. In- depth discussions were held about the USDA's lack of enforcement of its good delivery standard for lettuce and other produce items. Additional information about this important issue will be discussed further among the NAPAR membership over the coming months. Also discussed were updates on FSMA, NAPAR's membership growth and the 2014 Pete Class Memorial Golf Tournament (see below story).

NAPAR ANNUAL GOLF EVENT

The 2014th NAPAR Pete Class Memorial Golf Tournament will be held on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at the Royce Brook Golf Club in Hillsborough, New Jersey starting with a 9 a.m. with a shotgun start. Prior to the start, a full breakfast will be served. After golf, there will be an awards luncheon with lots of great raffle prizes for participants. There will be state-of-the-art electronics, golf equipment and cash prizes raffled off. NAPAR's Board of Directors are reminded that there will be a board meeting on Friday, May 16th at the Bridgewater Marriott Hotel. Additional details about the golf tournament and board meeting will be disseminated early in 2014.

FDA WILL OVERHAUL FOOD SAFETY RULES

The FDA recently announced that it plans to make major changes to two key proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and will publish revised rules by the summer of 2014. The agency said it will rework the rules on Produce Safety and Hazard Analysis and Preventive Controls and reissue them for comment. It appears that the Agency is reacting to mounting criticism from the local and organic produce industry. The agency should still have time to finalize the rules by a court-imposed 2015 deadline.

FARM BILL UPDATE

Congress will soon reconvene for its 2014 session and it appears that House and Senate leaders are planning (yes, you’ve heard this beforeā€¦) to move a compromise Farm Bill out of Conference Committee for a vote in both the House and Senate. Just before breaking for the December holidays, Congressional leaders vowed to finish the legislation in January and voted down a short-term extension of current law. The bill’s undecided points of contention, including the size of SNAP cuts, the shape of the new milk program, the structure of the new commodity programs, country-of-origin labeling for meat and the King amendment, will be settled by votes in the Conference Committee in early January. By the way, immigration reform is also on the “to do” list in both Houses of Congress for the new year, but that is another story we have all heard before.

QUICK NEWS YOU CAN USE

  • USDA recently announced that it is terminating plans for a national leafy greens marketing agreement in light of the new food-safety regulations that have been proposed by FDA. The official notice that appeared in the Federal Register ends a four-year journey for a national leafy greens handling agreement that started when the Western Growers Association and others petitioned USDA in 2009 before FSMA was enacted.

  • Locally grown produce ranks second among the hottest restaurant menu trends for 2014, trailing only local meats and seafood in a survey of chefs by the National Restaurant Association. Local produce has been among the top 20 trends in the annual list since 2009. It also ranked second last year, when the same two categories topped the chef picks

  • A looming water crisis in California has led more than 50 state lawmakers to request the declaration of a state drought emergency. The dire water situation for the upcoming crop year could send ripples through US agricultural supplies says the California Water Alliance, an advocacy organization. The state's persistent water problems are already starting to alter the crop balance in the state.

  • The Grocery Manufacturers of America informed the FDA that it would file a petition early next year to request the Agency to regulate “natural” claims on food labels. GMA will ask the FDA to allow the “natural” claim for foods that contain GMO ingredients. The petition will be strongly opposed by consumers and anti-GMO forces.

  • Providing incentives for fruits and vegetables and other healthy food purchases should be part of the strategy to improve the diet of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a new study claims. The New America Foundation, which conducted the study with the Harvard School of Public Health said in a news release that changes are needed in the administration of SNAP benefits to enable the $78 billion program to help battle the twin crises of food insecurity and obesity.

  • A recently completed survey by Piper Jaffray & Co. of consumption by millennials shows that the group is choosing organic food more every year. 39% of those responding to the survey said that they were eating organic foods, up 6% from just two years ago. The survey's results supports earlier research which concluded that millennials had a greater interest in eating organic and natural foods than older generations.

 

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