December 2013 NAPAR Homepage

NAPAR Chairman Procacci Honored by United

Joe Procacci of Procacci Bros. Sales Corp and Garden State Farms (and NAPAR Chairman) will be presented the United Fresh Produce Association's Lifetime Achievement Award during the group's January winter leadership conference in Miami. Joe is one of the founders of NAPAR and has won numerous awards over his long and distinguished career in the produce industry!

PMA & United Fresh Propose Sweeping Changes to FSMA Rules

Last month PMA & United Fresh asked FDA for a significant rewrite of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) proposals in comments submitted to FDA. United Fresh submitted nearly 100 pages of comments and recommended that FDA remove all the “arbitrary” quantitative metrics and include them in accompanying guidance documents instead. United also said that alternatives and variances in the rule are too restrictive, that the packing and holding of fresh produce should not be handled under the preventive controls rule, and that FDA should reissue a proposed rule before finalizing it. PMA had its own series of comments and urged FDA to recommend that all farms prepare a food safety plan, that farms not be excluded based on size or revenue and that it believed that FDA jumped the gun in mandating numerical preventive controls for agricultural water and treated soil amendments. Both groups said that it is more important to get the rules right than to rush to judgment and codify rules that are not really appropriate.

FDA Extends Comments on Food Safety Rule

As the November deadline came for comments on two major rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act, the FDA announced that it will extend its comment period on an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) required to implement the law. The agency said it will extend the deadline on the EIS comments until March 15, 2014. Initially, the agency believed an EIS would not be required to implement the act, but after taking comments and analyzing further, it determined that some of the produce rules could have a significant impact on the environment. Over 7,000 comments on the produce rule, and more than 4,000 on the preventative controls rule, have been submitted.

NAPAR in New York

If you plan to attend the New York Produce Show on December 11 in the Big Apple, please drop by the NAPAR booth to chat with your NAPAR management team. We are exhibiting in order to solicit new members for our organization. If you know of any prospective members and you are planning to be at the New York Produce Show, please walk them to our booth so we can discuss the benefits of membership. We have lots of goodies to give out too. There will also be a NAPAR board meeting prior to the show on Tuesday, December 10th and board members by now have received materials for the board meeting. We hope to see lots of NAPAR members in New York next week!

USDA Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee

Bringing back the USDA’s Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee after more than a two-year absence is a goal of the industry and USDA’s Charles Parrott, deputy administrator for the USDA ‘s Agricultural Marketing Service. Parrott is relatively new to the job but has made this action a priority. “It is excellent strategy for USDA to stay in touch with what is happening on the ground in the produce industry” says the United Fresh Produce Association and Parrott agrees.

QUICK NEWS YOU CAN USE

  • Fresh Cut Guidance – FDA published on November 21st and is seeking comments on its “Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards of Fresh-Cut Fruits and Vegetables.” Comments are due by January 21, 2014.

  • FDA Extends Comment Period – FDA extended the comment period for its proposed Foreign Supplier Verification and Third Party Certification rules from November 26, 2013 to January 27, 2014.

  • Congrats to NAPAR members in the news - - Celebrating their centennial and new leadership, The Packer recently featured Strube Celery & Vegetable Company as they celebrated their 100th anniversary and introduced customers to its new logo and leadership group, according to Lisa Strube, the company's director of finance. To celebrate the occasion, the company also donated two truckloads of produce to charity.

  • USDA's Economic Research Service recently published updated estimates that show a 209% overall increase in certified organic acres of vegetables, fruits and tree nuts from 1997 through 2011. This trend is expected to continue as more and more consumers seek out organic produce when they shop.

  • Non-browning apple –it appears to be only a matter of time until a GMO non-browning apple is available in the market. Federal regulars are currently reviewing public comments (deadline is Dec 9th) on its approval. Comments received thus far are overwhelmingly in opposition. The Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny apples have been in field tests since 2003. Companies such as McDonald’s and Gerber are staying away from the GM apples, at least for the time-being, as GMO foods continue to be a “hot-button” for some vocal consumer organizations.

  • Eat those veggies – fresh vegetables are becoming the main item on the dinner plate and credit goes to a new generation of eaters - 80 million Millennials with combined spending power of $1.3 trillion annually - who use social media, want to have healthier diets, and seek out tasty vegetables when eating out or shopping in food stores. With food stores all across the U.S. pushing fresh and local produce, restaurants have also gotten into the act to feature more fresh veggies. Thanks to a younger generation, vegetables are shifting to the center of the plate!

 

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)
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