March 15, 2024 Issue

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Sanitation Seminar April 11th Hosted at Food + Farm Exploration Center in Plover, WI


USDA Will Implement Long-Awaited Change to Country-Of-Origin Labeling Rules

A long-awaited rule that changes which meat and poultry goods can bear the label “Product of U.S.A.” will give consumers better information and result in fairer compensation for U.S. farmers and ranchers, agriculture experts predict. “We will see profits increase for actual American beef producers because that will be the only product that’s labeled ‘product of the U.S.A.,’ and therefore they’ll be able to sell more beef,” said Marty Irby, board director and secretary for the non-profit research group Organization for Competitive Markets. MORE


Source: Constitution Partners

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The U.S. National Debt is Rising by $1 trillion About Every 100 Days

The debt load of the U.S. is growing at a quicker clip in recent months, increasing about $1 trillion nearly every 100 days. The nation’s debt permanently crossed over to $34 trillion on Jan. 4, after briefly crossing the mark on Dec. 29, according to data from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. U.S. debt now stands at nearly $34.4 billion, as of Wednesday. MORE


Source: WMC


The US Economy Added 275,000 Jobs Last Month, More Than Expected

From CNN: The US economy added 275,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, according to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists were expecting that US employers added around 200,000 jobs in February and that the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%. MORE

Source: IMA

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U.S. Companies Will Have to Start Telling the Public About Their Climate Risks

Companies will have to start telling the public about how climate change could hit their bottom lines -- just not with as much detail as some had hoped. The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday voted to approve new climate risk disclosure rules, a significant shift that will require many companies to include information about their emissions along with the other material risks that U.S. businesses must detail to the public. MORE


Source: MBS

FDA: Major Source of PFAS in Food Packaging No Longer Sold in U.S.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that a major source of dietary exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is no longer being sold for use in food packaging in the U.S. These grease-proofing substances help prevent the leaking of grease and oil, and also add water-resistant properties to the materials to which they’re applied — typically fast-food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, take-out paperboard containers, pet food bags and other similar types of packaging. MORE



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California Goes After Seven More Food Additives in Latest Proposal

Less than a year after California signed into law the California Food Safety Act, which banned the use of four food additives in foods sold in the state (to take effect in 2027), lawmakers are again on the warpath against certain food ingredients. Assembly Bill 2316 has been introduced to the legislature, and it would ban seven dyes from foods offered in California’s public schools: Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and titanium dioxide. Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel authored the bill as well as last year’s California Food Safety Act, and says it will better protect children’s health and encourage the elimination of these ingredients from foods everywhere. MORE

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Proposal Would Tax Minnesota Farmers to Help Pay for Cleanup of Nitrate Pollution

A proposal to tax the fertilizer that farmers use to boost crop yields — in the hopes of treating nitrate pollution of water in southeastern Minnesota — passed its first test on Thursday in the House agriculture committee. “We’ve probably done more than anybody else (to address nitrate pollution),” said Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, the bill’s author. “But it’s not working.” MORE


Source: Constitution Partners

Note: MWFPA has expressed opposition to this fee increase on growers

SNAP Expansion Could Cover Medical Expenses Under MN Proposal

The SNAP program, which has historically supplied low-income households with funds to purchase food, could be expanded throughout Minnesota to cover medical expenses under a new proposal being considered by lawmakers. A bill authored by Rep. Heather Keeler (DFL-Moorhead), would establish the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) medicine program in Minnesota to provide a monthly benefit of $175, in addition to assistance with obtaining medical or behavioral health assessments for participants who are at risk of losing federal SNAP benefits. MORE


Source: Fluence Media

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Press Release: Governor Walz Announces $53 Million to Expand Broadband to 8,900 MN Homes and Businesses

Governor Tim Walz today announced over $50 million in grants to expand broadband access to an estimated 8,900 homes and businesses throughout Minnesota. MORE

Source: Fluence Media

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MN Lawmakers Look to Put Packaging Companies on the Hook for Materials Waste

Mountains of recyclable materials start filling up a drop-off bay at Eureka Recycling in Minneapolis every morning. The nonprofit recycling center takes in 400 tons of recyclable material from the Twin Cities metro every day — and a lot of that waste is from all those packaged materials. Minnesota is among a small but growing number of places where bills have been introduced to achieve what advocates call Enhanced Producer Responsibility policies. California, Oregon, Maine and Colorado have passed legislation. None have been implemented yet. MORE


Source: Fluence Media

WI Supreme Court Rejects Elias Law Group’s Congressional Redistricting Challenge

The liberal-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday rejected a Democratic lawsuit that sought to throw out the battleground state’s congressional maps, marking a victory for Republicans who argued against the court taking up the case. The decision leaves the state’s current congressional district boundaries in place for the November election. The decision not to hear the congressional challenge comes after the court in December ordered new legislative maps, saying the Republican-drawn ones were unconstitutional. MORE

Source: WisPolitics

Republican Sen. Andre Jacque Announces Run for Congress

It was just a couple of weeks ago that state Senator Andre Jacque of De Pere was seen meeting with Republicans at the Oconto County Caucus, telling us he was considering a run for Congress. Now, based on feedback, he says that the decision is a go. For Jacque, the timing of the announcement also comes as new legislative maps take effect in November, placing his residence outside the district he represents in the Wisconsin Senate. MORE


Source: WMC

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Evers, PSC Announce $43.2M in Broadband Grants

State officials have rolled out $43.2 million in new broadband grants, funding dozens of projects expanding access to high-speed internet in Wisconsin. Gov. Tony Evers and the Public Service Commission announced the funding for 30 projects across the state. MORE


Source: WMC

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Quinn-Pronschinske Bill Aims to Limit Local Regulation of Farms, Animal Welfare

A Republican bill moving through the Legislature would prevent local governments from pursuing more stringent regulations overseeing farms and animal welfare. State Sen. Romaine Quinn, R-Cameron, and Rep. Treig Pronschinske, R-Mondovi, are among lawmakers sponsoring the legislation. A companion bill passed the Assembly in February. The proposal would bar local governments from enacting local regulations for farms or commercial operations, including concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. MORE

Source: WisPolitics

B&G Foods CEO Offers 2023 Recap, 2024 Outlook

Margin growth, increased cash flow and growing net sales for B&G Foods' spices and seasonings business are among the progress made by the company in 2023, shared CEO Kenneth Keller, adding that in addition to last year's sale of Back to Nature and Green Giant, "[W]e expect to divest additional business and brands over the next year to focus the portfolio for future success." MORE

Source: CBA

Tyson Executive Talks Strategic Retail Growth

In a recent podcast episode, Tyson Foods vice president of retail commerce leadership Wendy Jean Bennett discusses how the brand has navigated modern-day retail trends and consumer preferences. She advises that companies watch consumer trends closely, make data-driven decisions and look to expand internationally. MORE

Source: CBA

Conagra Report: Frozen Food Shoppers Seek Quality, Value

Volume sales of frozen foods increased 5% in 2023 compared with 2019 driven by global flavors, breakfast offerings, smaller portion sizes and children's products, according to research from Conagra Brands. The research also found consumers are especially buying Asian-inspired products and spicy flavors, convenience foods like breakfast sandwiches and snacking options as they seek to find quality products at budget-friendly prices. MORE

Source: CBA

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.

Fairchild Equipment Acquires Yale Lift Truck Dealer Territories in Wisconsin and Illinois

Fairchild Equipment, a premier provider of material handling solutions in the Midwest, is honored to announce its expanded dealer footprint as the official Yale Lift Truck Technologies dealer across eleven key counties in Wisconsin and Illinois. MORE

2024 Private Label Report Shows a Curious Tale of Twos

The 2024 Private Label Report has been released by the Private Label Manufacturer’s Assn. (PLMA), and the news is a tale of twos: two different halves of the year, and two different outcomes for dollar and unit sales. MORE



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

April 1 - MWFPA Scholarship Applications due

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

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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