April 30, 2020
WI Gov. Tony Evers has ordered Wisconsinites to stay in their homes to fend off the coronavirus outbreak. In response, the offices of MWFPA will be closed until further notice.
 
Those wishing to contact the MWFPA offices are encouraged to contact staff members via email. Those emails are:
 
President, Jason Culotta:  jason.culotta@mwfpa.org
 
Director of Operations, Jane Algiers:  jane.algiers@mwfpa.org
 
Director of Communications, Brian Elliott:   brian.elliott@mwfpa.org

MWFPA has also created a resource page to assist food manufacturers and supply chain partners in mitigating the negative impacts of the coronavirus COVID-19. We will continue to keep our members updated on any new developments. Click here to access MWFPA's COVID-19 resource page.
The MWFPA News Bulletin is underwritten in part by Bug Blocker Doors & Screens
MWFPA Spring Summit & Scramble Postponed
Unfortunately, due to the risks associated with the widespread Coronavirus COVID-19, we have decided as this time to postpone the Spring Summit & Scramble.
 
MWFPA hopes this postponement puts us in a position to safely host this event in the fall.

Watch this News Bulletin and the MWFPA website for further details.
Trump Orders Meat Processing Plants To Remain Open Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
President Trump on Tuesday ordered beef, pork and poultry processing plants to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic.


Citing his authority under the Defense Production Act the executive order classifies meat processing as critical infrastructure to try to prevent a shortage of chicken, pork and other meat on supermarket shelves.

Read more here and here.
Trade Coalition Urges Trump to Delay All Duties American Companies Pay to Federal Government
On Tuesday, Americans for Free Trade, a coalition of American businesses, trade organizations, and workers opposing tariffs, in a letter urged President Trump to take further action to provide relief to struggling American businesses by delaying the collection of all duties and fees.

The coalition of over 470 businesses also called on the Administration to expand its current program so that duties from May and June are also deferred. Currently the Administration is only deferring the collection of some duties and only for imports made in the months of March and April.

Read the news release here .
FDA Releases New Guidance Documents Regarding Food Worker COVID-19 Guidance and Food Safety
 
Last Sunday the FDA and CDC released new documents on the use of face masks, food safety, what to do if you have COVID-19 confirmed positive or exposed workers in your food production and a guidance for meat and poultry processing workers and employers ( which may helpful for other food processing plants as well).

What to Do if You Have COVID-19 Confirmed Positive or Exposed Workers in Your Food Production, Storage, or Distribution Operations Regulated by FDA
 
Use of Respirators, Facemasks, and Cloth Face Coverings in the Food and Agriculture Sector During Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic
 
Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Meat and Poultry Processing Workers and Employers

Share FDA's infographic with your employees which details the proper use of respirators, facemasks and cloth face coverings.
The MWFPA News Bulletin is underwritten in part by Alliant Energy
Labor Dept. Offers Materials, Webinars On Paid Leave

Following are links to quick reference materials on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (please see below), as well as a reminder of FFCRA webinar training opportunities from the U.S. Department of Labor/Wage & Hour Division.

Corey Walton, the Division's Community Outreach and Resource Planning Specialist,
is available for webinars and/or conference calls to provide guidance on the paid leave provided under this new law. A session would include providing attendees with a firm understanding of the basics of the FFCRA as well as the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers. The session will also include a Q & A period to address any questions attendees may have.

You can contact Corey at: Walton.Corey@dol.gov or phone (612) 344-0265 (Direct)
 
Attention Wisconsin Groups!
As an alternative to the webinar session described above, Wisconsin groups can request a joint USDOL-Wage and Hour/USDOL-OSHA webinar. The first part of this joint session would provide OSHA-related compliance assistance information that is so critical in these days we live in. And of course during the second part of the session, attendees will receive the training and information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in the format described above. Of course all sessions are free of charge to everyone.
 
Attention Minnesota Groups!
As an alternative for Minnesota folks, groups can request a joint MN Department of Labor and Industry/USDOL WHD webinar session! The session will include training on the state’s Wage Theft Law as well as the sick leave requirements under the state’s provisions. And of course the WHD portion will cover the FFCRA.
 
So if your group, association, organization or agency is interested in scheduling a webinar, please Corey so he can get you and your group on the schedule! Length of time for the session are flexible to the needs of your group!
 
USDOL quick reference links:
 
Quick Benefits Tip Flyer:
 
COVID-19 and the American Workplace:
 
Temporary Rule: Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act:
AFFI Document Summarizes OSHA COVID-19 Enforcement Guidance

In partnership with various food and beverage trade associations, the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) developed this document that summarizes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) interim enforcement guidance and provides details about establishing if an illness resulted from a workplace exposure.

OSHA considers COVID-19 to be an “illness” under its recordkeeping regulation and employees that have tested positive for this disease need to be recorded.

With the community transmission of COVID-19 in many parts of the country and the presence of asymptomatic infected persons, it may be challenging for employers to determine if an employee’s confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis is work-related.
The MWFPA News Bulletin is underwritten in part by Proactive Solutions USA, LLC

On March 27, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to provide emergency assistance to businesses affected by the 2020 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

There are a number of provisions of the act that help participants in the food & beverage industry, such as processors, retailers, restaurants (including franchises), craft breweries, wineries and others. Read more.
WI Coalition Calls for Additional Liability Protections to Help Reopen and Restart the Wisconsin Economy

MWFPA along with the Wisconsin Civil Justice Council (WCJC), and a coalition of 40 Wisconsin businesses and chambers of commerce, have called upon the WI Legislature to enact civil liability protections for Wisconsin businesses as the state begins to reopen its economy.

In the Legislature's first COVID-19 bill ( 2019 Act 185 ), lawmakers enacted protections for health care workers and took some first steps in protecting manufacturers, sellers and distributors of medical equipment to fight COVID-19. Now, MWFPA and business associations are calling for additional protections for those manufacturing, selling and distributing medical equipment, as well as protections for employers seeking to keep their employees and customers safe and for persons rendering aid.

Read the coalition's letter to the Legislature here .
The MWFPA News Bulletin is underwritten in part by AFE Advanced Food Equipment LLC
USDA, FEMA Provide Assistance In Meeting PPE Needs

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided this reference list personal protective equipment (PPE) distributors supplying the food industry.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed this guidance that summarizes how organizations should consider and manage their PPE needs while ensuring the protection of workers during the COVID-19 pandemic response.
IL Manufacturers Win Work Comp Case, State Withdraws Emergency Rule

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission on Monday repealed a controversial emergency rule stating that if front-line workers are infected with COVID-19, it would be presumed to be a result of their work duties.

A Sangamon County judge last week issued a temporary restraining order blocking the new rule, which would have granted benefits to workers deemed essential who contracted the new coronavirus. The judge’s order resulted from a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association that had the support of more than two dozen business groups.

When the emergency rule was passed, business groups called it a drastic policy change that would require employers to take on added medical expenses and salary benefits if an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, without proof that it was contracted in the workplace.
Second Lawsuit Filed By IL Legislator Challenging Stay-Home Order

 A second lawsuit was filed by an Illinois legislator today in an attempt to block the stay-at-home order Gov. Pritzker issued March 20 or any similar measures from being enforced on the Representative and “all citizens similarly situated.”

The new challenge follows a ruling Monday in Clay County in a lawsuit brought last week by Republican State Rep. Darren Bailey of Xenia who claimed that Pritzker had exceeded his authority and was violating the civil rights of the state’s residents.

The lawsuit filed in yesterday in Winnebago County, is more broad than the previous lawsuit that applied only to one individual, as this lawsuit attempts to block the stay-at-home order for all Illinois citizens. The lawsuit will be heard in Monday, May 4.

 The nation's complicated and essential food system continues to adjust to the sharp, sudden shift in demand spurred by stay-at-home orders and food-service shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. For farmers and others in the food supply chain, the immediate and long-term future remains uncertain as peak harvest season nears for many commodities.

Read more.

 Food Navigator reports that i n the era of the COVID-19 crisis, industry must avoid 'business as usual' practices, think outside the box, and accelerate efforts to develop sustainable and modern food systems, says food waste expert.  

Read more .

 According to Food Processing, feeding America continues to be a critical role for the food industry. But, whether operating from your manufacturing or retail site, or your home office (or kitchen table!), you are likely finding that the COVID-19 situation is continually drawing you away from what previously had been your primary duties.

Read more .
MWFPA Associate Member Hays Companies Hosts COVID-19 Livestream

MWFPA associate member Hays Companies is hosting the seventh installment of its COVID-19 Live Stream series this Friday, May 1st at 1:00 PM Central Time. Their experts will cover:

  • Evolving Medical Response
  • Return to Work Planning
  • Small Business Loan Programs

If interested you can register at   https://www.bbinsurance.com/covid19/
 Misssspleings and Old Informcion
Is Your Company Profile Up to Date for the Member Directory?

The 2020-2021 Membership Directory is going to print soon. Just a reminder, if your organization’s 2020 dues haven’t been paid your company will not be included in this publication.

Review your company’s listing using the member portal Infohub and make any updates necessary. You can also check to see if your dues are current in the member portal, and make payment directly using your credit card.

Please check for accuracy in the contact information and be sure categories and a company description are included in your profile. Contact Jane Algiers with questions or concerns.

The MWFPA Human Resources Committee has selected 20 applicants to receive an MWFPA Scholarship. Each scholarship winner will receive $1,000.

View a list of the recipients and the companies with which their parents or guardians are employed, as well as their home city here .

Letters are being sent to each recipient notifying them as to their selection. Those who were not awarded scholarships are also being informed of the Committee’s decision.
Where appropriate, the recipient’s high school will be informed of the award.

Congratulations to this year's winners and thanks to the HR Committee for all their time and effort in reviewing the various applications and selecting the recipients.
Mark Your Calendar: MWFPA Events You Won't Want To Miss
May 27, 2020: Raw Products Committee. Most likely will be a teleconference. Details to follow.

July 2, 2020: Raw Products Committee – Waseca pea trial. University of MN’s Southern Outreach Center, 35838 120th St., Waseca, MN.

August 13, 2020: Raw Products Committee – Hancock trial. UW Hancock Ag Research Station, 7547 County Rd. V, Hancock, WI.

October 14, 2020: MWFPA Sporting Clays Challenge, Game Unlimited Hunting Club, 871 County Rd E, Hudson, WI.

December 1-3, 2020:   MWFPA 116th Annual Convention and 93rd Processing Crops Conference.  
Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells, WI.

December 10, 2020 (tentative): MWFPA Accident Investigation Seminar, Wilderness Resort, 511 E Adams St, Wisconsin Dells, WI, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost: $95 per person. Should you have any questions, please contact Jan Algiers or telephone: 608-255-9946.

January, 2021: MWFPA Sanitation Seminar , tentatively rescheduled for January 2021 at the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI – date to be determined.
Other Educational Opportunities
May 5, 2020: Food Safety Risk Management: “Basics Done Well” in the Time of COVID-19 . 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. Online. The Illinois Manufacturing Association presents a webinar to assist you in focusing on the sanitation elements and requirements that will ensure the safety your workers, your product, and your community as we keep facilities open and look forward to re-opening other establishments. Register here.

September 22-24, 2020: FDA Better Process Control School. Pyle Conference Center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, 702 Langdon Street, Madison, WI. This training provides the canning industry with qualified personnel to meet FDA and USDA regulations. Through in-person lectures with industry experts, the Better Process Control School at UW-Madison has successfully trained industry personnel for more than 40 years. Participants value the personalized instruction that leads to successful completion of the course.

A link to online registration and more information is here: https://foodsafety.wisc.edu Registration deadline to guarantee a spot is September 1, 2020. Participants are encouraged to register early so that they can adequately prepare for the training (participants will be sent the course manual for review/study prior to attending).
Brian Elliott | Midwest Food Products Association | Ph: (608) 255-9946 | Fax: (608) 255-9838
Web: www.mwfpa.org