April 15, 2024 Issue


Biden Admin Announces Finalized Science-Driven Updates to Foods Provided Through WIC

On Tuesday, April 9, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced finalized updates to the foods prescribed to participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC. Nutrition leaders and mothers from across the country praised USDA’s finalized updates to the WIC food package and the positive implications it will have for women, infants, and young children who rely on this vital program. Here’s what they’re saying - MORE


Source: Constitution Partners

Budget Watchdog Warns US Could Suffer Market Shock Over National Debt

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Phillip Swagel warned the United States could suffer a similar market shock as seen in the United Kingdom during former Prime Minister Liz Truss’s brief stint leading Britain, citing the nation’s “unprecedented” fiscal trajectory. In an interview with the Financial Times this week, Swagel discussed the country’s rising debt, while warning of the dangers of the U.S. facing “what the U.K. faced with former prime minister Truss — where policymakers tried to take an action, and then there’s a market reaction to that action.” MORE

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Job Growth Zoomed in March as Payrolls Jumped by 303,000 and Unemployment Dropped to 3.8%

Job creation in March easily topped expectations in a sign of continued acceleration for what has been a bustling and resilient labor market. Nonfarm payrolls increased 303,000 for the month, well above the Dow Jones estimate for a rise of 200,000 and higher than the downwardly revised 270,000 gain in February, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The unemployment rate edged lower to 3.8%, as expected, even though the labor force participation rate moved higher to 62.7%, a gain of 0.2 percentage point from February. MORE

Source: IMA

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DOL Issues Final Rule Expanding Worker Representation During OSHA Inspections

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a final rule that expands the rights of employees regarding representation during OSHA inspections. According to a release dated March 29, this development clarifies that workers now have the authority to designate either a fellow employee or an external individual to accompany OSHA compliance officers during evaluations of their work environments. MORE


Source: WMC

OSHA Hazard Alert Addresses Rise in Injuries in Food Processing

A new hazard alert from OSHA is aimed at increasing awareness and ensuring actions are being taken to reduce the “alarming number” of serious, preventable injuries in poultry, meat and other food processing establishments. These establishments have “a range of hazards that workers face during all stages of food-processing operations, including normal production operations, machinery inspection, servicing and maintenance, machinery adjustments, clearing jams, cleaning, sanitizing, environmental testing, and/or food safety inspection tasks,” OSHA says. MORE

Source: CLFP

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FDA Issues Import Alert for Food Products with Chemical Contaminants Including PFAS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a new import alert for human food products with detectable levels of chemical contaminants that may present a safety concern to human health. The Import Alert 99-48, Detention without Physical Examination of Foods Due to Chemical Contamination, gives the FDA the ability to help prevent entry of human food products into the U.S. if they are found to be contaminated with a broad range of human-made chemicals including benzene, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), among others. MORE


Source: CLFP

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USDA to Renew Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee Charter

The USDA will renew the charter of the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee for two years. The organization’s current charter expires May 1. The FVIAC, administered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, represents the entire spectrum of the fruit and vegetable industry, including shippers, wholesalers, brokers, retailers, processors, fresh cut processors, foodservice suppliers, state agencies, state departments of agriculture and trade associations. MORE


Source: ProduceProcessing.net

Evers Vetoes Bill Limiting Local Control of Animal Welfare on Farms

Farm groups are disappointed with Gov. Tony Evers’ veto of a bill that would largely prevent local regulation of animal welfare on farms, but its opponents say it’s a win for local control. State Sen. Romaine Quinn, R-Cameron, and Rep. Treig Pronschinske, R-Mondovi, introduced the legislation. The bill cleared the Republican-controlled Legislature last month. The proposal would have barred local governments from enacting certain local regulations of animal facilities in areas primarily used for farming unless there’s a substantial threat to public health or safety. It received support from more than a dozen agricultural and veterinary groups, but animal welfare and environmental groups opposed the bill. MORE

Source: WisPolitics

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Liberal WI Supreme Court Justice Won’t Run Again, Setting up Fight for Control

The longest-serving current Wisconsin Supreme Court justice and member of its liberal majority announced Thursday that she will not seek another term, setting up a high-stakes fight for control of the battleground state’s highest court. Justice Ann Walsh Bradley’s decision comes as a surprise after she had previously said she would seek a fourth 10-year term. It shakes up the race on the liberal side as they seek to maintain the majority they just won last year. At least two current liberal judges — Dane County Circuit Judge Susan Crawford and state Appeals Court Judge Chris Taylor — are considering getting in the race. Former Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel, currently a Waukesha County judge, is the only announced candidate, having gotten in the race in November. The primary is Feb. 18 and the general election is April 1, just under a year away. MORE

Source: WisPolitics

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Innovation Fires up Conagra's Frozen Food Portfolio

Conagra aims to drive continued share gains in frozen foods with new products from several brands, including Evol's restaurant-inspired plated meals, as "there's really a white space and a gap in food that focuses on flavor" in the single-serve space, said Rich Campbell, brand director of Conagra's frozen portfolio. MORE


Source: CBA

Del Monte Foods Publishes ESG Report

Del Monte Foods has released its 2023 Environmental, Social and Governance Report which reveals how the company is "reducing our impact" on the planet while working to boost food security worldwide, shared CEO Greg Longstreet. MORE


Source: CBA

Thank You to the Sponsors, Speakers and Attendees of the 2024 MWFPA Sanitation Seminar at Food + Farm Exploration

Bush's Wants a Worthy Rewrite of "Musical Fruit" Tune

Bush's Beans is seeking a new ending to the disparaging "musical fruit" song that is associated with bean consumption "to help create a song worthy of the beautiful bean," said Stephen Palacios, senior vice president of marketing and innovation. People can submit their ideas on TikTok or Instagram with the winner earning cash prizes and a trip to the Grand Ole Opry. MORE

Source: CBA

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The Tax Side of Capital Spending

As this month’s Capital Spending Outlook discusses, food & beverage processors are investing significant amounts to build new plants or reconfigure and modernize existing ones. Federal income tax principles generally recognize these types of expenditures as fixed assets that result in a benefit beyond the current year.

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Because of the assumed future benefit, the federal tax rules require the deduction for the cost of these assets to be taken over a number of years through depreciation expense. Invariably, these plant-related projects include a combination of costs, such as equipment, buildings, building improvements, land improvements and process-related assets that might cross the threshold between building and equipment. When a plant project includes this kind of mix of personal property and real estate-related costs, it is important for the company to be able to identify each specifically because there is a significant difference in the rate at which a company may take federal income tax depreciation deductions on the various classes of property. MORE

Save the Date! 2024 Meetings & Events

View 2024 MWFPA Sponsorship Opportunities - HERE

May 1 - Friday/Weckel Scholarship Applications due

June 5 - MWFPA Spring Summit hosted at Kalahari Convention Center

June 6 - MWFPA Annual Scramble hosted at Trappers Turn

August 14 - Raw Products Field Trial at Hancock

October 8 - Sporting Clays Classic hosted at Woods & Meadow in Warrens, WI

December 3 - Processing Crops Conference

December 3-5 - MWFPA Convention & Expo (Exhibitor booth registration opens June 3rd)

Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells




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