June 2014 NAPAR Homepage

NAPAR'S ANNUAL PETE CLASS MEMORIAL GOLF TOURNAMENT

The weather cooperated and a large cadre of produce industry golfers got to enjoy themselves at the recent NAPAR Pete Class Memorial Golf Tournament at Royce Brook Golf Club in Hillsborough, New Jersey on May 17th.  Nearly 90 golfers played a great course and were treated to a day that began with breakfast and  ended with an awards luncheon.  Golf was somehow sandwiched in between.  Many participants walked away with fabulous raffle prizes,  which included over $4,000 in cash and a wide assortment of electronic and golf items.  A portion of the proceeds generated by the annual NAPAR golf event will be donated to local food related charities.

  The golf winners were:

  • First Place Gross – Doug Hamel, Rob Kajewski, Jerry Pucci and Greg Tobias
  • Second Place Gross – Bob Holdstein and Bob Goodwin
  • Third Place Gross –  Mike Keen, John Lundbald, Mike Coppola and Marc Ginsberg

  • First Place Net – Wade Baldwin, David Jenkins, Eddie Jordan and Stanley Herriot
  • Second Place Net – Nick Giglasco, Carmine Caruso, Joe Nichols and Mike Romance
  • Third Place Net – Tripper Sears, Michael Fleisher, Kevin D'Arrigo and Brian D'Arrigo

  • Senior Longest Drive – Rich Vigel
  • Men's Long Drive- Darius Jenkins
  • Women's Long Drive – Amanda Briggs
  • Men's Closest to the Pin#3 – Chris James
  • Men's Closest to the Pin #8 – Paul Patten
  • Men's Closest to the Pin#15 – Wade Baldwin

IMMIGRATION REFORM

Last month President Barack Obama gave an unofficial deadline for immigration reform when he told a gathering in Washington that the Republican Party has two or three months to start acting on an overhaul of immigration reform measures before the fall elections take precedent.  That’s another way of saying that Democrats will then use it as a full blown campaign issue.  If the issue does not move before the August recess, it will be dead for the year, with the possible exception of action in a Lame Duck.  This is an issue that is extremely important to agricultural interests all over the country.  The Democrat led Senate did pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill last June, but House Republican have their own version which is still being debated within their caucus.  This critically important issue may just one day turn out to be a case study in the world’s greatest dysfunctional body.  The lack of comprehensive immigration reform has created uncertainty and instability in American agriculture circles.

FSMA FUNDING

While Congress continues to battle appropriation requests and budgets, especially for funding the Food Safety Modernization Act, the FDA recently said that the agency will emphasize voluntary compliance and other related measures such as prevention initiatives and expanded cooperation in the food industry sector.  OMB has estimated that it will take $600 million to completely fund FSMA.  The President requested $200 million in his budget request.  In late May the House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved roughly $24 million more for FSMA implementation.  This won’t be enough to do the job.  The Administration suggested to Congress that it pass new users fees to help fund FSMA, but Congress has rejected that approach.

GMO AND ORGANIC UPDATE

The Governor of Vermont has signed the recently passed mandatory GMO labeling bill into law.  The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) have vowed to file suit against the state law, but Vermont legislators say they wrote the legislation to withstand a legal challenge.   Most food labeling experts in Washington believe that it will still be struck down by the courts.  And to add to the debate, a New York Assembly committee reported out labeling legislation making it the farthest GMO labeling efforts have advanced in New York so far.  In late May Cornell University released a study that found that a law similar to the bill being considered by the Assembly would cost a family of four living in New York $800 a year. More than 20 other states are pursing similar legislation or ballot initiatives this year.

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Materials Subcommittee has requested the NOSB to develop a prevention strategy guidance to recommend best practices for avoiding contact with genetically modified organisms in organic production and handling.  Interesting enough, Consumer Reports National Research Center released a survey of over 1,000 adults this past month that it says shows that the NOSB is out of step with what consumers want in their organic foods.  It charges that consumers want fewer synthetic ingredients in their organic food, but a USDA policy change now allows synthetic ingredients to be exempt under the  Organic Foods Production Act by the NOSB for more than 5 years unless two-thirds of the members of the Board vote to remove it.

LOCAL FOODS BECOMING MORE IMPORTANT TO SHOPPERS

More than 65% of the respondents to a recently released study say that the availability of local food offerings is important in their choice of supermarkets.  The study, "Ripe for Grocers: The Local Food Movement”, was based on a survey of more than 1,000 shoppers and conducted by A.T. Kearney.  Consumers say they are ready to pay a premium for locally grown produce and prefer that stores carry more locally produced items.

NAPAR BOARD MEETS

The annual NAPAR Golf Tournament also provided an opportunity for the NAPAR Board of Directors to meet to discuss a variety of issues important to the organization.   Officers in attendance were:  Chairman Joe Procacci, Second Vice Chairman Jay Rosenstein, John Vena, TJ Rahll, Norman Vitrano and NAPAR President John Motley.   In addition to discussing legislative and regulatory issues important to NAPAR, the board approved NAPAR’s participation  at the New York Produce Show scheduled for early December.   The next NAPAR board meeting will be held in New York just prior to the New York Produce Show.

QUICK NEWS YOU CAN USE

  • Climate-related disruptions to fruit and vegetable growers will increase over the next 25 years, according to a National Climate Assessment Report.  Congress calls for the formal assessment every four years through the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

  • Greater consumption of fruits and vegetables translate to less stroke risk, according to a new health research report.  The risk of stroke decreased by 11% for every 200 grams per day of added vegetable consumption and 32% for every 200 grams per day of added fruit consumption.

  • McDonalds has set a goal of doubling servings of fresh fruits and vegetables worldwide by the year 2020.  To reach this goal, the company will build on menu innovation.  The company operates over 34,000 restaurants worldwide.

  • 84% of U.S. consumers buy organic food sometimes, and 45% of them buy it at least once a month, according to a new national survey.   However, there is a disparity between what they think the organic seal means and what they think it should mean.  As to what origin labels should look like, two-thirds favored a label that reflected where the produce was grown and processed.

  • Procacci Bros was featured in Produce News recently with an overview of their “Taste Like Summer” campaign, which promoted “UglyRipe” heirloom tomatoes and “SantaSweets” grape tomatoes.  Procacci Bros. has a strong online retail store where it offers fruit baskets, candies, imported Italian chestnuts and other items, according to the article.  And another NAPAR member, John Vena Inc. was also recently highlighted in Produce News with his expansion to additional space at the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market as a result of his growing business and new opportunities.  John Vena was the first company in the Philadelphia Market  to be certified by USDA and then by Primus Labs for good handling practices.

  • ProduceMonkey.com has brought the new dimension of social media marketing to the produce industry with its official May 1 launch.  “With the integration of social media into the tools within Produce Monkey, it allows growers, packers and shippers to quickly and efficiently interact and move product,” said MC Solutions Inc., the development company for Produce Monkey.   The Produce Monkey smartphone app is currently available for both I-Phone and Android platforms.

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