Food Business News - June 18, 2013 - (Page 32)

Washington Senate passes farm bill, stage set for debate over SNAP cuts he U.S. Senate on June 10 approved the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 by a vote of 66 to 27. The five-year farm bill aimed to reform the nation’s farm support and conservation programs, eliminate waste and abuse in federal nutrition assistance and trim more than $24 billion in spending over 10 years compared with the current farm act. The House of Representatives was expected to begin debate on its farm bill, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, during the week of June 17, according to House leaders. Should the House succeed in passing its farm bill in the next few weeks, Senate and House negotiators will confer to hammer out differences between the two bills with the aim of crafting a common bill that may be submitted to the House and Senate for final votes. Leaders of both the House and Senate said they hoped to send a farm bill to the president before the August congressional recess. T JAY SJERVEN 32 FOODBUSINESS NEWS ® Conferees will have no greater task than to reconcile the different approaches to reducing spending on nutrition assistance as reflected in the Senate bill and the farm bill passed by the House Committee on Agriculture and set to be brought to the House floor. The outcome of the negotiation may have ripple effects across food industries and the overall economy. Both the Senate bill as passed and the House bill as proposed would cut spending on the nation’s principal domestic food authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 expire on Oct. 31. What’s old is new The Senate bill was similar in all major respects to the farm legislation passed by the body at about the same time last year. That bill never went to conference because the leadership of the House failed to bring the farm bill passed by the House agriculture committee to the House floor for a vote. As a result, the current farm law, the The House farm bill would cut five times as much spending on SNAP than the Senate approved assistance program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but by vastly different amounts. The Senate bill would reduce spending on SNAP by about $4 billion over 10 years. The House bill would go much further and reduce spending on SNAP by about $21 billion during the same span. Whatever spending cuts ultimately are agreed to by the Senate and the House, they will come on top of an across-theboard cut in SNAP benefits estimated at $20 to $25 a month for a family of three that will take place on Nov. 1, 2013, when the enhanced SNAP benefits Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, which officially expired last year, was extended through Sept. 30, 2013. With so much of the work done in 2012, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry was able to expedite consideration of the farm legislation in the current session. Senators on both sides of the aisle acknowledged the bill was the product of a bipartisan effort. But senators with particular dedication to preserving and even expanding federal nutrition programs lamented the cuts proposed for SNAP. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, former chairman of the Senate agriculture committee, voted for what he called “a strong bipartisan bill.” At the same time, Senator Harkin said, “I regret, however, that this legislation reduces funding for nutrition assistance to low-income Americans and will work to mitigate cuts to nutrition assistance programs as the legislative process moves forward.” The Senate bill sought to achieve savings in SNAP spending by addressing what it asserted was “fraud and abuse” in parts of the program. Specifically, the Senate bill would prevent lottery winners from receiving food assistance and college students from misusing benefits. Of greater import, it would stop states from issuing extremely low Low-Income House Energy Assistance Program payments to qualify households to receive Standard Utility Allowances for the sole purpose of increasing their SNAP benefits. The Senate said the provision would not affect households that are able to demonstrate a utility cost, but this would be problematic for households whose utility costs are included in their rental payments). It was estimated about 400,000 households would see their SNAP benefits reduced by an average of $90 per month because of the provision. The bill also aimed to crack down on trafficking of food June 18, 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - June 18, 2013

Food Business News - June 18, 2013
Diamond Foods challenged by walnut supply and Emerald relaunch
Market Insight: Mid-year commodity outlook
Fruitful ice cream options
Table of Contents
Web Contents
Editorial - Proposed SNAP cuts will be felt throughout the food sector
Flavored milk to grow at double the rate of white milk
Smucker exits bulk coffee, remains bullish on K-Cups
C.e.o. in unsolicited takeover bid for Dole
Heinz acquisition completed, new c.e.o. takes over
Mondelez to offer coffee pods compatible with rival’s system
Tyson Foods expands prepared foods portfolio with acquisition
Nielsen honors Breakthrough Innovation winners
Taco Bell taking charge of breakfast
Expanded breakfast helps lift McDonald’s May sales
McCormick & Company sees growth ahead from innovation and acquisitions
Wal-Mart doubles-down on fresh produce promise
Morningstar buy may be just the beginning for Saputo
Target delves deeper into organics
PepsiCo hires chief marketing officer
Wenner sees winner in Pirate Brands acquisition
Single-serve coffee' harbinger of things to come at TreeHouse'
Washington - Senate passes farm bill, stage set for debate over SNAP cuts
Sports Nutrition - Improved performance
Ingredient Innovations - Diverse Dynamos for Digestion
I.F.T. to convene in Chicago
New Food Products
Ingredient Market Trends - Imports from Mexico send U.S. sugar stocks to record highs
Ingredient Markets
Supplier Innovations and News
Ad Index
Food Business in the News

Food Business News - June 18, 2013