Snack World - August 2011 - (Page 12)

Legislative Summit Update SFA Goes to Washington Snack food executives address key issues affecting the industry. BY BOB GATTY he Snack Food Association (SFA)’s 2011 Legislative Summit held in Washington, DC, in May provided a solid foundation for dealing with the many challenges that are now moving to the forefront in the nation’s capital. That foundation may well pay dividends in the months ahead. During that conference, more than 40 snack food executives met with lawmakers and key staff members to inform them of top issues of concern and educate them about the impact government actions could have on their businesses. Since the summit, much has happened. MEXICAN TRUCKING. At the urging of SFA and other business organizations, the US government reached agreement T with Mexico to resolve the crossborder trucking problem. Under the deal announced July 6, 50% of Mexican tariffs on US products were eliminated July 8, and the remaining 50% was to be suspended within five business days from the date the first Mexican carrier receives authorization under the new program, which is expected to occur in August. “This is an important victory for snack companies that export products to Mexico, especially pork rind manufacturers that ship products there for processing,” said Jim McCarthy, SFA president and CEO. “We urge Congress to support this agreement. SFA will actively oppose any legislative roadblocks that might develop to hinder implementation of this agreement.” INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS. SFA is working with supportive lawmakers in an effort to block a proposed rule by the US Labor Department and the Internal Revenue Service that would impose new recordkeeping requirements on employers when they hire independent contractors. Penalties for violations would also be increased. “This is entirely unnecessary and comes at a time when our national unemployment rate exceeds 9% and leaders of both parties are stressing the need to take action to get people back to work,” Mr. McCarthy said. SFA is working closely with the Coalition to Preserve Independent Contractor Status to oppose actions that would place unnecessary or unreasonable burdens on SFA member companies and to preserve their ability to use independent contractors in appropriate circumstances, he explained. MARKETING GUIDELINES. In July, SFA urged the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Food Marketed to Children to withdraw its preliminary proposed nutrition principles to guide industry selfregulatory efforts because they are “overly restrictive, unattainable and have no scientific backing to prove their effectiveness.” SFA stated the guidelines — which incorporate the 20 categories of advertising, marketing and promotional activities identified in the Federal Trade Commission’s food marketing study definitions — would virtually restrict all advertising for the industry’s products being marketed to children and adolescents.  “These unrealistic standards, if applied, would mandate a ‘perfect food’ halo on products if they were to meet the advertising guidelines,” SFA said. “It is well understood that there are no perfect foods as dietary goals have always emphasized the total ▲ Daryl Thomas, Herr Foods, Inc. (center) and Sean Shanley, Bryce Corp. (right) discuss Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), biofuels and independent contractor issues with Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA). 12 Snack World August 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Snack World - August 2011

Snack World - August 2011
Letter from SFA -- Addressing the Issues
Supplier’s Corner -- Get Involved
Calendar of Events
Defending the Potato -- In the Eye of the Storm
Legislative Summit Update -- SFA Goes to Washington
Conference Update -- Acrylamide: A Comprehensive Approach
Processing Systems -- Cookie Conundrum
New Snacks
Products & Services
Ad Index

Snack World - August 2011