March 15, 2023 Issue

Featured Event

MWFPA is hosting an

Energy Management Seminar on March 23 at the Glacier Canyon Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells.

More Info and Registration:


Antidote for Cabin Fever!

Register to golf at the June 1 MWFPA Scramble

hosted at Trappers Turn in Wisconsin Dells.

Scroll down for registration and sponsor opportunities!


U.S. House Votes to Roll Back Biden’s WOTUS Rule

The U.S. House voted last week to undo a Biden administration definition of wetlands that allows for regulations on private lands. The chamber approved, 227-198, a resolution to roll back the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's broader definition of what qualifies as "waters of the United States," or WOTUS, for the purposes of federal regulation under the Clean Water Act. The move was largely symbolic, as President Joe Biden has said he intends to veto the measure if it reaches his desk. MORE

Source: MBS


EPA Opposes Ag Intervention In WOTUS

As the legal fight over the Biden administration's waters of the U.S. rule continues in federal courts, the EPA filed a motion opposing ag groups' attempts to intervene in one of the lawsuits. The new WOTUS rule finalized in December now faces the potential of being stopped in its tracks, as multiple plaintiffs have asked federal courts to issue injunctions against the rule. Currently the American Farm Bureau Federation and other ag groups have joined the state of Texas in suing EPA in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. AFBF also has led a motion filed to intervene in a 24-state lawsuit on WOTUS in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota. Because of the legal action in Texas, the EPA is opposing AFBF and other business intervenors' motion to intervene in North Dakota. EPA argues in opposition to the motion that the groups lack standing to intervene, the groups filed similar claims in other courts already, the intervention would delay or prejudice EPA's rights by "injecting a set of largely duplicative claims and arguments," and the ag groups claims can be fully adjudicated in the federal court in Texas. MORE

Source: MBS

Biden Nominates Julie Su as Next Labor Department Secretary

President Joe Biden on Feb. 28 announced he was nominating Julie Su to be the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor. Su, currently the deputy secretary of labor, previously was head of California's labor department. In that capacity, Biden said that she "cracked down on wage theft; fought to protect trafficked workers; increased the minimum wage; created good-paying, high-quality jobs; and established and enforced workplace safety standards." Su would be the first Asian American person to serve in Biden's Cabinet at the secretary level. MORE

Source: IMA

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Neither Consumer Groups nor Industry Representatives Believe FDA Plan Will Work

Leaders from a group of consumer and industry organizations were unanimous yesterday in condemning FDA Commissioner Robert Califf for his plan to restructure the agency. To a person, the leaders said they were disappointed with Califf’s plan, which he said a month ago and again yesterday would include the creation of an “empowered” deputy commissioner for foods. While Califf’s plan does include the creation of that post, it continues to have three separate divisions reporting directly to the FDA commissioner, continuing the silo and matrix situation that the industry and consumer groups say endangers the public in terms of food safety. MORE

Source: MBS

U.S. Employers Added a Solid 311,000 Jobs in February

Robust hiring in February added to recent evidence the economy got off to a strong start this year, despite rising interest rates aimed at slowing growth and high inflation. Employers added a seasonally adjusted 311,000 jobs last month, a cooler but still strong increase following a revised 504,000 gain in January, the Labor Department reported Friday. The unemployment rate rose to 3.6% last month from January’s 3.4% as more people sought work. MORE

Source: WMC

How Much U.S. Farmland Does China Really Own?

More Than Bill Gates—And Less Than 17 Other Countries

Chinese purchases of U.S agricultural land sparked concern in Congress among a bipartisan group of lawmakers--but 18 other countries own more American agricultural acres than China. The Department of Agriculture requires foreign entities who buy U.S. agricultural land to file a report within 90 days disclosing what they bought. Citing staff shortages, the Department of Agriculture didn’t penalize foreign parties for violating reporting rules from 2015 to 2018, prompting 28 lawmakers to criticize the department’s “complete lack of accountability and oversight” Monday in a letter obtained by the Wall Street Journal. Two bills introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate argue foreign influence on American agricultural land could affect America’s economy, food supply, and national security. Concern about Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural land increased in late January when the China-based Fufeng Group Ltd. was prevented from building a cornmill on land close to a North Dakota Air Force base after officials called it a security risk. MORE

Source: MBS

MWFPA Scholarship Applications Accepted until March 31st!

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

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.

2023 MWFPA Scholarship award recipients will receive $1,500.

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

View more information or download an application by visiting the link!

Study Shows “Significant Risk of Exposure” To PFAS From Food, Pesticide Packaging

Notre Dame researchers have found the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in fluorinated high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic containers, which may be used for food packaging as well as the packaging of pesticides and other consumer goods and demonstrated the risk of exposure to PFAS from foods that come into contact with HDPE packaging. MORE

Source: MBS


Made In The USA? Proposed Rule Clarifies Grocery Meat Labels

Shoppers could soon find it easier to tell if those grocery store steaks or pork chops were really “Made in the USA.” Federal agriculture officials on Monday released new requirements that would allow labels on meat, poultry or eggs to use that phrase -- or “Product of USA” -- only if they come from animals “born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States.” That’s a sharp change from current policy, which allows voluntary use of such labels on products from animals that have been imported from a foreign country and slaughtered in the U.S., but also on meat that’s been imported and repackaged or further processed. Imports of beef from countries including Australia, Canada and Brazil, for instance, account for about 12% of the total consumed in the U.S. Overall, imports of red meat and poultry account for less than 6%, while imports of eggs account for less than half of 1%. MORE

Source: MBS

Still Time - Advertise Your Business with the

Midwest Food Products Association in 2023 - Click HERE or Below!

Baldwin Bill Would Require Relabeling of Plant Milks Following New FDA Guidance

Some lawmakers in Washington are now pushing for legislation that would limit what can be labeled as milk after the Food and Drug Administration released new draft guidelines in February that allows plant-based products to use the word milk on their packaging. Dairy farmers and advocates have long argued that plant-based milks should not be allowed to keep using dairy’s name on their labeling. Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) agrees. She recently reintroduced the “Dairy Pride Act” in Congress [to require] non-dairy products made from nuts, seeds, plants and algae to no longer be labeled with dairy terms. MORE

Source: WisPolitics

FDA Draft Guidance Endorses Labeling Plant-Based Beverages As “Milk,” But Recommends Disclosure of Nutritional Differences

In February, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) released draft guidance on the labeling of plant-based milk alternatives. The draft guidance also recommends that manufacturers of such products include voluntary nutrient statements on plant-based products labeled “milk” to describe nutritional differences between the product and dairy milk. Though “milk” is a product name for which FDA has long had an established standard of identity, FDA’s guidance does not take the position that “milk” should not be used to refer to plant-based milk alternatives or require that such products be labeled as “imitation.” MORE

Source: MBS

Minnesota's Western Flank Loses Voice on Key Agriculture Committee as Farm Bill Heats Up

For 50 years, a member of Congress from Minnesota's Seventh Congressional District — encompassing western Minnesota cornfields up to the sugar beet stockpiles in the Red River Valley — has sat on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. That meant someone from the nation's third-largest congressional district by number of farms, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture ag census, has been there to mold the farm bill, which is renewed every five years. For over a quarter century, that was Collin Peterson. But Peterson's replacement, Republican Rep. Michelle Fischbach, who bested the DFLer by 13 points in 2020, won't be sitting on the House ag committee this year when it updates the Agricultural Improvement Act, set to expire in September. MORE

Source: MBS

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Minnesota Food Shelves Expect Increased Demand as Emergency SNAP Benefits End

Minnesota food shelves seeing demand that's higher now than at any time during, or even before the COVID-19 pandemic, say that demand is only likely to increase with the ending of extra Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Tuesday marked the end Emergency SNAP with final payments expected in March. MORE

Source: Fluence Media

Free School Lunches in Minnesota: Legislature Set to Pass Bill

The debate over a bill to provide free school lunches for all students in Minnesota is set to hit the Senate floor this week. While the bill is likely to make it through the Senate and be signed into law by Governor Walz, that doesn't mean every lawmaker is backing the bill. MORE

Source: MN Chamber

State Exports Reach Record High: $27 Billion in 2022, up 16% over 2021

St. Paul – Minnesota exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured products reached a record high of $27 billion in 2022, according to a report released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The state's exports continued their growth streak from 2021, jumping 16% over the year…. North American markets drove Minnesota's export growth in 2022. Minnesota exports to North America grew to nearly $12 billion, jumping by 30% over 2021. MORE

Source: Fluence Media


with WI DNR March 16th

MWFPA members are encouraged to mark their calendars and register for the annual March 16th gathering of industry MWFPA and WI Cheese Makers environmental staff and regulators from Wisconsin DNR.

This in-person meeting, with a live online option, will cover hot topics in environmental regulation and WPDES permitting, with joint presentations by agency staff and industry experts. The event will be hosted at the Hilton Garden Inn in Sun Prairie and begin with 9:30 a.m. registration and close at 2:30 p.m. Continuing education credits are available for certified wastewater operators who attend the full event.

Registration is $45 for in-person attendance and $25 for online participation. MWFPA members are encouraged to attend, but space is limited, so sign up soon! For more information, please click the link above or reach out to or call (608) 255-9946.

General Mills CEO Details Overhaul in Supply Chains

General Mills is overhauling its supply chain with twin goals of reducing its carbon footprint along with costs, said CEO Jeff Harmening. Specific actions are moving along three lines: using enhanced data to product savings in ingredients and packaging, employing real-time data to improve manufacturing efficiency and digitally tracking shipments to reduce waste and keep inventories optimized. MORE

Source: CBA

Evers Proposes $750M for Broadband Expansion Amid Massive Federal Investment

Gov. Tony Evers' proposed budget calls for the state to invest $750 million in broadband expansion over the next decade as Wisconsin could receive more than $1 billion from the federal government. Despite the infusion of federal dollars, the head of the Public Service Commission said state funding will still be needed to ensure everyone has access to high-speed internet. Just how much federal money Wisconsin will receive is still in question due to new broadband maps released late last year by the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC. The maps determine who lacks high-speed internet and underserved areas that would qualify for $42 billion in funding nationwide. MORE

Source: WisPolitics

Wisconsin Food, Forestry Producers Export Record Amount in 2022

Wisconsin agricultural and forestry producers set a new record high for exports last year, topping the previous record in 2021. The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection reported that U.S. Census trade data shows food, forestry and agriculture exports totaled nearly $4.22 billion in 2022, up 7 percent from the previous year. Mark Rhoda-Reis, director of DATCP's International Agribusiness Center, said the growth was surprising after seeing widespread supply chain impacts during the pandemic and high inflation last year. MORE

Source: WisPolitics

MWFPA Will Join F&B Industry 4.0 Experts in Chicago

MWFPA is delighted to be partnering with the Smart Manufacturing for Food & Beverage Summit on 28 March 2023 in Chicago, IL.

Gain the necessary tools to develop an industry 4.0 roadmap to overcome current challenges and accomplishes business objectives. Find out more and register here.

Use PARTNER15 to save 15% on your pass.

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Click Here for Chem-Aqua, Inc.

Brands 'May End Up Losers' as Consumer Taste for Private Label During Inflation Lingers

American consumers have gravitated toward private-label brands during rising inflation, and big-name brands may have trouble winning them back after inflation eases, new research from Attest suggests. Brands ‘may end up losers’ as consumer taste for private label during inflation lingers. MORE

Source: CLFP

2023 Meat Production Expected to Decline 1%

The U.S. hit “peak meat” production in 2022 totaling 107 billion pounds, a record for meat production that includes beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, and veal.  Even though there are cycles in beef production and seasonal patterns in demand and supply, meat production has trended upward over the long-term.  However, meat production should decline in 2023 and again in 2024 due mostly to supply challenges. Record meat production last year was driven by increases in beef and chicken production while pork and turkey declined. MORE

Source: MBS

Robotics And AI Offer Something to Chew on At Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods researchers are experimenting with how robots can improve interactions with a variety of biological tissues. Unlike the automotive industry, meat and poultry come in infinite sizes, shapes and weights. Context: Since launching its Tyson Manufacturing Automation Center (TMAC) in downtown Springdale in late 2019, the company has relied more on automation to perform some of its operations. MORE

Source: MBS

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Conagra Brands CEO Shares About Company’s Future

Conagra Brands CEO Sean Connolly downplayed the benefits of splitting up the maker of Marie Callender’s and Snack Pack, calling the CPG company’s size a valuable asset in deepening its presence in snacking and frozen foods. “We’ve done that in the past, where it makes sense” to spin off or sell a large business, Connolly told Food Dive on the sidelines of the annual Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference in Florida. “But we are a U.S.-centric business, and we believe our scale and our scope are assets.” Conagra is no stranger to sizable divestitures, provided they make sense for the company and the segment hived off. MORE

Source: CBA

McCain to Spend $600M to Double Potato Processing Capacity in Southern Alta

The Toronto-based food manufacturing company -- which boasts that it makes one in every four French fries produced worldwide -- is making the largest investment in its history in order to double output at its Coaldale facility, just east of the city of Lethbridge. McCain said the project will create two new production lines, one for French fries and one for other frozen potato specialty products. Once completed, the expansion is expected to create 260 new jobs, more than doubling the facility's current workforce. MORE

Source: CBA

Research Confirms GMO Labeling Had No Effect on Sales

Vermont, the only state to implement a mandatory GMO food labeling law, found increased consumer awareness of non-GMO products. MORE


Labor Challenges Drive Packaging Automation

The business challenges of the past few years — labor shortages, supply chain disruptions and inflation — have accelerated the long-term trend toward the automation of packaging operations. All types of manufacturers and distributors, including food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, automotive and e-commerce companies, are turning to packaging automation to ease pressures on their business and their employees. MORE

Source: CLFP

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Alert: Business Scams- Educational Opportunity

An agriculture business recently contacted DATCP Consumer Protection after falling victim to a fake invoice scam. An example of how this might work is that a scammer will send a fake, but realistic looking, invoice representing themselves as you or someone with whom you do business. The invoice will include instructions for making a payment, and of course, the payment will go to the scammer and not the legitimate business. This is just one example of a scam that all too often affects smaller businesses and non-financial or tech businesses that mistakenly assume scammers only target the big fish. The FTC reported businesses lost $660 million to imposter scams last year – a 55% increase from 2021 - and just about every sector, industry and size was targeted.

The Bureau of Consumer Protection offers a Business Scams presentation which explains the different tactics used and offers preventative tips to help businesses lessen the risk. The presentation is usually an hour but can be tailored to the time available and is completely free. If you would like to schedule a presentation, please reach out to Bureau of Consumer Protection Director, Michael Domke, at or 608-224-4972.

Upcoming Meetings & Events

View 2023 MWFPA Sponsorship Opportunities - HERE!

Thursday March 16 - MWFPA/WCMA Environmental

Committee Meeting with WI DNR

Register HERE

Hilton, Sun Prairie

March 23 - Energy Management Seminar

Glacier Canyon Conference Center, Wisconsin Dells

March 29 - Raw Products Committee Voters Meeting, MWFPA office

March 31 - MWFPA Scholarship applications due

April 20 - Friday/Weckel Scholarship applications due

April 27 - Sanitation Seminar

Glacier Canyon Conference Center, Wisconsin Dells

May 31 - NFPA 70E Electrical & Arc Flash Training - Kalahari, Wisconsin Dells


May 31 & June 1 - MWFPA Annual Summit & Scramble

Trappers Turn, Wisconsin Dells

October 10 - Sporting Clays Classic

Woods & Meadow Hunting Preserve

Warrens, Wisconsin

November 28 - 30 - 2023 Convention & Processing Crops Conference

Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells




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