March 1, 2024 Issue

Antidote for Cabin Fever!

Register to golf at the June 6th MWFPA Scramble hosted at Trappers Turn.


Cleveland-Cliffs To Shutter West Virginia Tin Plant and Lay Off 900 After Tariff Ruling

Cleveland-Cliffs announced Thursday that it is shutting down a northern West Virginia tin production facility indefinitely and plans to lay off 900 workers after the International Trade Commission voted against imposing tariffs on tin imports. The trade commission ruled earlier this year that no anti-dumping and countervailing duties will be imposed on tin products from Canada, China and Germany because those imports do not sufficiently harm the U.S. steel industry. MORE

Source: MBS

US Economy Grew Solid 3.2% in Fourth Quarter, a Slight Downgrade from Initial Estimate

The U.S. economy grew at a robust 3.2% annual pace from October through December, propelled by healthy consumer spending, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday in a slight downgrade from its initial estimate. MORE

Source: MN Chamber

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Slowed Growth Forecast for US Vegetable Production Through 2033

U.S. production of vegetables and pulse crops is projected to grow just 4% from 2022 to 2033, according to the USDA’s recently released long-term outlook report. MORE


Crop Insurance Costs to Leap By 29%, Says CBO

The federally subsidized crop insurance program will cost an additional $27.7 billion over the coming decade, said the Congressional Budget Office in projections released on Monday. The government pays roughly 62¢ of each $1 in premiums, and sales of livestock and forage policies are exploding. Crop insurance will cost the government nearly $125 billion for the decade ending in 2033, said the CBO, up 29% from last year’s estimate of $97 billion over 10 years. MORE

Source: MBS


Challenges and Opportunities in Export Markets for U.S. Food, Beverage and Agricultural Products

Food Processing participated in a news conference with Alexis Taylor, undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs at USDA at IPPE 2024, where Taylor offered her thoughts on the export markets currently and also addressed two questions from FP senior editor Andy Hanacek. MORE



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2022 Census of Agriculture Shows Decline in Farms, Rise in New Producers

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s 2022 Census of Agriculture shows a continued decline in the total number of U.S. farms, though the number of new and beginning producers is on the rise. Released Feb. 13, the census spans more than 6 million data points collected directly from producers every five years about America’s farms and ranches and the people who operate them. MORE



How Difficult is Phasing out PFAS?

Over the past two years, 3M sold nearly 25,000 different products that contain PFAS, the "forever chemicals" that will soon be largely illegal in Minnesota. While the company has reformulated nearly one-third of those products — mostly sandpaper and tape that didn't use much to begin with — 3M expects to lose out on more than $1 billion in annual sales as it phases out PFAS production by the end of next year. Even as regulations and litigation drive PFAS toward extinction, there are no replacements for all its uses. MORE


Source: MN Chamber

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Snack Processors Race to Increase Capacity, Meet Growing Demand

As time-starved consumers seek shortcuts and convenience when eating at home, the rise in snacking has continued to grow — often, it seems, at the expense of the well-prepared meal. MORE


Source: CLFP


How General Mills has Benefited from Digital Shift

General Mills is mitigating supply chain disruption, gaining market share online and connecting with more than 16 million consumers monthly via personalized outreach due to its Accelerate growth plan that includes running more than six million data analytics models each month to produce more than 500 predictions, shared CEO Jeff Harmening. MORE

Source: CBA

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Twin City Foods, Smith Frozen Foods Sign Merger Agreement

Frozen foods companies Twin City Foods Inc. and Smith Frozen Foods Inc. have signed an agreement to merge, with terms of the deal still being finalized, according to a release distributed by Twin City Foods. The new parent company will be named TCF Holdings Inc., and according to the release, the partnership represents a strategic alignment of resources and capabilities to meet demand and support local farmers. Twin City Foods, which is headquartered in Stanwood, Wash., has been in business providing quick-frozen vegetables to the consumer markets for more than 80 years. MORE


Conagra Unleashing a Landslide of Truly Novel Products

While it’s mostly about finance, there’s a fair amount of marketing going on at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York annual meeting. CEOs of some of the biggest publicly held food and beverage companies are marketing their companies to the 500 or so financial analysts in attendance, in the process some give hints about what’s coming down the new product pipeline. Every company offered a new product or two, but Conagra overwhelmed in that department this year with not only logical line extensions but some downright audacious stretches. MORE


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Del Monte Foods to Shutter Central Wisconsin Facility

According to a WARN notice filed with the state of Wisconsin, Del Monte Foods Inc. will permanently close its Markesan, Wis.-area plant this spring, resulting in the layoff of 90 employees there. The company filed the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) letter earlier this week with the state of Wisconsin but did not cite any specific reason for the closure or any additional actions to be taken. MORE


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It’s Been 30 Years Since Food Ate Up This Much of Your Income

Eating continues to cost more, even as overall inflation has eased from the blistering pace consumers endured throughout much of 2022 and 2023. Prices at restaurants and other eateries were up 5.1% last month compared with January 2023, while grocery costs increased 1.2% during the same period, Labor Department data show. Relief isn’t likely to arrive soon. Restaurant and food company executives said they are still grappling with rising labor costs and some ingredients that are only getting more expensive. MORE

Source: WMC

Pritzker Proposes Over $2B in Spending Growth, Backed by Tax Increases for Corporations, Sportsbooks

Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday proposed growing state spending by over $2 billion in the upcoming fiscal year while making a handful of corporate, sports wagering and other tax changes to pay for the increase. Pritzker’s plan, laid out to lawmakers during his annual budget address, does not alter or increase state income tax rates. But it would more than double the tax rate paid by sportsbooks on gross revenues and extend an existing cap on operating losses businesses can claim on taxes. Those two changes would raise about $726 million in revenue, erasing much of what had been projected as an $891 million deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. MORE

Source: IMA

Large Energy Users 2024 Energy Webinar hosted by Focus on Energy Thursday March 14 at 10:00 a.m.

WIEG, Wisconsin Paper Council, Wisconsin Cast Metals Association, and Midwest Food Products Association are sponsoring a Focus on Energy webinar to provide an overview of program changes for 2024 for Wisconsin large energy consumers. Register here

Why Minnesota’s $3.7 Billion Budget Surplus Won’t Result in a Spending Spree at the State Capitol

Minnesota’s budget situation improved slightly Thursday when an updated economic and revenue forecast was released by state economists. That doesn’t mean that Gov. Tim Walz and DFL leaders of the Legislature have changed their message about adding spending to the already record budget adopted last year. “Caution” remained the buzzword. MORE

Source: Fluence Media

Slow Permitting Process Costs MN up to $910M

Minnesota’s time-consuming process for environmental permitting is giving corporate decision-makers pause as they think about where to build, expand and invest — and it’s costing the state big-time, according to a new report from the Minnesota Chamber Foundation. The report, released Tuesday, finds that air permitting review times in Minnesota are up to six times longer than other states, and that Minnesota could gain as much as $910 million in annual economic output — and add up to 3,400 full-time jobs — if it reduced permitting times to match “peer states.” MORE

Source: MN Chamber

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WI Democratic Governor Signs His New Legislative Maps into Law After Republicans Pass Them

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers signed new legislative district maps into law on Monday that he proposed and that the Republicans who control the Legislature passed to avoid having the liberal-controlled state Supreme Court draw the lines. MORE

Source: MN Chamber

MWFPA/WCMA Meeting with WI DNR March 13th

Join us Wednesday, March 13, 2024, for the 11th annual joint meeting with Wisconsin DNR. Our state regulators gather with members of the Midwest Food Products Association and Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association to discuss environmental issues of the day.

All on-site registrants are asked to pay a $55 fee to attend, which includes a catered lunch. Registrants should arrive for check-in starting at 9:30 a.m. (CT). Those who wish to attend virtually can register for the meeting at a reduced rate of $35. Virtual attendees will receive an individual Zoom link to join the programming beginning at 10:00 a.m. (CT). Click here for more information and registration options.

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Wolter, Inc. Secures Strategic Growth Investment from BBH Capital Partners to Fuel Expansion and Ac

Brookfield, WI – Feb 28, 2024 – Wolter, Inc., a leading provider of material handling solutions, automation, overhead cranes, industrial dock and door services, and power systems, is thrilled to announce a significant growth investment from BBH Capital Partners (BBHCP). This strategic partnership will enable Wolter to accelerate its expansion plans, including acquisitions and real estate investments, further solidifying its position in the industry. MORE

Fairchild Equipment and IEWC Partner to Support Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin with Forklift Donation

Fairchild Equipment, a leading provider of material handling equipment in the Upper Midwest, is proud to announce its recent partnership with IEWC, a global leader in wire, cable, and wire management products, to donate a Hyster forklift to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin to help the organization fight hunger through its nationwide network of food banks. MORE

MWFPA Scholarship Applications Accepted until April 1st

MWFPA Processor and Associate Members - help us spread the word!

The Association awards scholarships to deserving children of parents or guardians who are employees of MWFPA processor and associate member companies.

2024 MWFPA Scholarship award recipients will receive $1,500.

Scholarship recipients are high school senior or post-secondary students accepted into, or attending any post-secondary school, in the United States. This includes institutions of higher education including vocational and technical colleges, two-and four-year colleges and private trade schools. Winning applicants may attend these schools with any major of study.

March 5th Webinar Hosted by alliantgroup

Topic: Unveiling Tax Relief Incentives: Empowering the Food Processors Industry for Growth and Sustainability 

Join this informative session to learn more about Section 41, which rewards food processors for their everyday activities. This incentive gives companies the resources they need to increase company value, invest in new equipment, attract, and retain technical talent, and continue innovating. Join Former Congressman Rick Lazio and alliantgroup Managing Director, Tracy Lustyan as they discuss the on how to stay updated on the latest tax relief strategies that are shaping the future of food products industry. Register

Event: Smart Manufacturing for Food & Beverage March 27, 2024 Hyatt Regency O’Hare Hotel, Chicago Manufacturers are yet to fully realize the potential of manufacturing technologies. Unite with industry 4.0 leaders in Chicago to uncover key trends, strategies, and solutions to accelerate your smart manufacturing journey and improve food safety, overcome workforce shortages, and meet increasing demand. As a MWFPA subscriber, click here or below to save 15% on your pass by using our discount code MWFPA15

Save the Date! 2024 Meetings & Events

View 2024 MWFPA Sponsorship Opportunities - HERE

March 13 - MWFPA/WCMA/WI DNR Annual Joint Meeting - REGISTER

April 1 - MWFPA Scholarship Applications due

April 11 - Sanitation Seminar hosted at Food + Farm Exploration Center - REGISTER

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 - REGISTER

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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