July 2014 NAPAR Homepage

FDA Launches New Produce Campaign

FDA has rolled out a new outreach campaign titled “Read the Label,” which is intended to help teach young people, educators and parents alike, how to use the Nutrition Facts Label to make healthy food choices. The comprehensive campaign will include a wide assortment of downloadable, ready-to-use materials for community educators, families and kids. With so much emphasis on retail food store produce departments merchandising these days, this new effort may spur produce sales.

New Compliance Guide for FSMA Food Facility Registration

FDA has released a new Compliance Guide on Food Facility Registration addressing the FSMA’s facility requirements and recommendations. All NAPAR members are required by FSMA to register with the FDA every other year. The Guide provides FDA staff with information regarding enforcement of the food facility registration provisions of FSMA, including the requirement that registered facilities biennially renew their registration with FDA, and FDA’s authority to suspend a food facility’s registration. The Guide does not establish legally enforceable responsibilities but describes the Agency’s current thinking of this topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited. If you want a copy of the new Guide, contact NAPAR.

A GMO Potato May Be Coming

Potato industry giant J.R. Simplot Co. says that it is on track to commercialize its genetically engineered spud next spring. The Innate potato could have a major impact upon the public GMO debate, including its food safety aspects, since the new spud has the potential to dramatically reduce the levels of acrylamide in potato chips and fries. Acrylamide is a probable human carcinogen and chips and fries are estimated to be responsible for about a third of the acrylamide that we consume. The potato also does not brown when bruised. The company is still in the final stages of seeking federal approval from FDA.

Benchmarking Report Available To Help Your Bottom Line

United Fresh has announced the first-ever benchmarking report designed specifically to help produce wholesalers and distributors evaluate the effectiveness of their operations. The report is a project of United’s Wholesaler-Distributor Board, which had extensive input into its structure and focus. It was commissioned to help wholesaler-distributors assess the performance of their operations as compared with others in the produce industry. The report is available for purchase on the United Fresh website.

QUICK NEWS YOU CAN USE

  • A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that consuming fresh cherries may provide an array of health benefits and anti-inflammatory properties. The findings are good news for those who want to reach for healthier snacks.

  • Produce Business recently featured Wakefern-ShopRite in a major story on sustainability efforts in the produce industry. NAPAR’s First Vice Chairman, Derrick Jenkins, Wakefern’s Vice President of Produce and Floral, was interviewed extensively for the story.

  • In what fresh produce advocates call a step backward, the House Appropriations Committee last month approved the right of a school system to opt out of nutrition standards that increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in school meals. Some members of Congress say that mandating fruits and vegetables creates a lot of food waste. The Senate Appropriations Committee did not support a similar provision in its bill. The issue must be reconciled in a House-Senate Conference before it reaches the President’s desk as part of the 2015 federal budget.

  • D’Arrigo Bros.Co of New York has launched a tropical line of fruits and vegetables comprised of many of the items that are in high demand by ethnic groups and foodservice operators. Some of the items include plantains, chayote and yucca. The story was featured in Produce News. Matthew D’Arrigo is a member of the NAPAR Board.

  • A new study projects that grocery stores will be reducing their size in the future as convenience becomes more important than the variety of available vegetables. The trend will also have an impact on food producers as suppliers find themselves fighting for shrinking shelf space. Chains such as Wal-Mart and Wegmans are already experimenting with smaller store formats.

  • FDA’s current labeling policy for foods produced using biotechnology is supported by a significant majority of consumers according to a new study. Results showed that nearly two-thirds of consumers support the FDA’s current labeling policy for foods produced using biotechnology, which calls for labeling only when biotechnology substantially changes the food’s nutritional content or composition, or when a potential safety issue (such as a food allergen) is identified.

  • SNAP incentives drive produce sales according to Fair Food Network, a national non-profit organization based in Michigan. When Congress passed the farm bill earlier this year, they enhanced an incentive program for buying healthier foods by those using food stamps. Fair Food Network reported in a presentation at the recent United Fresh conference that a number of different pilot programs have been initiated to link incentive programs with the purchase of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables to boost sales and at the same time, boost nutrition for SNAP recipients.

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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