TopofPageMidwest Food Processors Association News Bulletin  - March 19, 2015   
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MN Committee Hears Bill To Restrict Environmental Board
Minn Capitol The MN House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee heard testimony recently on a bill that would strip away much of the power of the Pollution Control Agency Citizens' Board.  Read more


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GMO Bills  In IL Legislature
IL Capitol
In the IL Senate, legislation (SB 734) mandating GMO labeling requirements in Illinois was assigned to the Environment and Conservation Committee for a potential committee hearing this spring.

Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) sponsored similar legislation last year and held four public hearings but failed to call the bill for a vote in committee in the face of extremely strong opposition from the business, retail, and agricultural sectors.

The House Consumer Protection Committee narrowly approved HB 133 (Thapedi, D-Chicago) on a partisan Democrat vote of 9-7 that requires companies to label fresh, frozen, or processed fish and shellfish at the state level.  Currently, all labeling requirements are set at the federal level by the Food & Drug Administration so that there is uniformity among all states and not separate standards across the nation.


MWFPA in conjunction with the Illinois Manufacturers' Associ-ation, along with the Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois Retail Merchants, are strongly opposed to HB 133 and SB 734. 

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Minimum Wage Bill Introduced In IL Legislature

An bill to increase the IL state minimum wage, introduced by State Rep. Arthur Turner, has been sent to the floor out of the House Labor Committee on a partisan roll call.

HB 3345 increases the minimum wage from $8.25 to $9 beginning July 1, 2015 and increases it to $10 per hour on and after July 1, 2016.


The measure also provides that the establishment of a minimum wage that employers must pay their employees is an exclusive power and function of the State and is a denial and limitation of the home rule powers and functions, except that the limitation on home rule powers does not apply to a municipality with more than 1,000,000 inhabitants.


MWFPA continues to oppose increases in state minimum wages.


The MWFPA News Bulletin is underwritten in part by Wisconsin Lift Truck Corp.

MWFPA, Coalition Urge No New Food Taxes Or Fees
Capitol MWFPA has joined a coalition of approximately 60 food groups urging Congress to develop a budget that funds US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food-safety programs without inflicting consumers and food producers with burdensome new taxes or fees.


MWFPA in conjunction with the coalition sent letters to U.S. Representatives stressing that Congress had previously rejected efforts to impose new regulatory fees on food and beverage makers and distributors to fund these FDA programs.


The coalition states: "As consumers continue to cope with a period of prolonged economic recovery and food makers and retailers struggle with fluctuating commodity prices, the creation of new food taxes or regulatory fees would mean higher costs for food makers and lead to higher retail food prices for consumers."


The proposed budget calls for FDA to collect $60 million in new food facility registration and inspection fees from food producers and distributors, and another $103 million through a new import inspection fee.  Read more


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MWFPA's George Appears In Business Video
Watch MWFPA President Nick George in this Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce video featuring business association leaders explaining what is working for them in Wisconsin, and what they are working on.

Originally shown Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at Business Day in Madison.

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E-Verify Bill Could Have "Devastating Impact"
The American Fruit and Vegetable Processors and Grower Coalition, of which MWFPA is a part, and more than 140 food and agriculture groups warned House leaders in a letter that legislation requiring employers to use E-Verify to check the immigration status of workers would have a "devastating impact" on farms.

A bill that would require all U.S. employers to participate in the E-Verify program has been reported out of the House Judiciary Committee. H.R. 1147, the Legal Workforce Act, sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, would replace the current paper-based I-9 system with a completely electronic check on worker eligibility.

It would gradually phase in mandatory participation for new hires in six-month increments from the date of enactment based on business size. All businesses, including agricultural businesses, would be expected to fully participate after three years.

"There is no other industry with greater workforce demographic challenges and foreign labor reliance than agriculture," the groups wrote.


"A longer phase-in and or an exemption from E-Verify is a well-intentioned acknowledgment that agriculture confronts a precarious labor situation, but it does not move us any closer to the permanent solutions we desperately need. Instead, they place a larger target on the backs of American producers who are following the letter of the law today."


The legislation would raise penalties on employers who knowingly hire immigrants who are not authorized to work, but it would also provide "safe harbor" from prosecution to employers who use E-Verify in good faith and receive an incorrect eligibility confir-mation through no fault of their own.



The legislation faces strong opposition from Democrats,but enjoys widespread GOP support in the House. It would likely face an uphill battle in the Senate.

MWFPA is monitoring all legislative developments in Congress and will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available.

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EXPO PACK Mexico 2015 to be held June 16-19 will showcase the latest solutions in packaging and processing machinery, materials, containers, and other related goods and services. This event offers direct access to the packing and processing industries in Latin America, attracting approximately 29,000 customers from over 30 countries and more than 1,000 company exhibitors from over 20 countries in 2014.


The State of Illinois covers 100% of the cost of booth space and construction, and handles all logistical aspects, including interpreters, transportation to and from the show floor, and hotel booking through the Illinois State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program.


For more information and registration, click here. 


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MWFPA Sanitation Seminar Fast Approaching
Register now for the MWFPA Cleaning and Sanitation in Food Plants seminar scheduled for Tuesday April 15, 2015 at the Holiday Inn - Stevens Point, WI.

The proactive and preventive approach to controlling contamination through cleaning and sanitation is increasingly being recognized as a key factor in food safety management. This full-day seminar will look at the sanitation problems and solutions that are found in today's food plant.  


Register as an attendee by clicking here! 

Exhibitor Table Top Opportunity: 
Register as an exhibitor by clicking here!  Call Brian Deschane for more details:  608-255-9946 

You may also call: 1-877-834-3613 for reservations.


SAVE THE DATE:  Food Safety Preventative Controls Forum October 19-22, 2015
MWFPA is pleased to cosponsor the Food Safety Preventive Controls Forum, along with the American Frozen Food Institute on October 19-22, 2015 at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, WI. 

The Forum will provide relevant information for any food or ingredient company regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Food safety consultants, auditing firms and other service providers will also benefit from our line-up of expert speakers and interaction with fellow attendees and exhibitors.

Watch for more information coming soon in this News Bulletin. 

MWFPA Partners In Food Leaders Summit   

MWFPA has become a proud partner in The Food Leaders Summit 2015.

Join your industry peers in Chicago, IL April 27-29, 2015 to look closely at the transformative changes impacting every aspect of the food industry -- and work collaboratively to succeed in this new environment.

Find more information and register for this event!

Think Asia, Think Hong Kong Seeks Food Processors For One-On-One Business Meetings    

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council is organizing an event in Chicago on June 10, 2015 called "Think Asia, Think Hong Kong."  


The Council is bringing 6 business delegations from Hong Kong and China (100+ companies) representing 6 different industries. In addition to attending TATHK, they will also do some company visits and participate in One-on-One Business Matching meetings with local companies. They are looking to meet with food & wine producers, food processing companies, food packaging companies, etc. for both sourcing AND selling opportunities.


If your company would like to participate, please click here for more information. 

MWFPA Events
April 8, 2015:  MWFPA Human Resources Committee, MWFPA Offices, Madison, WI.

April 15, 2015:
  MWFPA Sanitation Seminar. Holiday Inn, Stevens Point, WI.

June 4, 2015 - Spring Summit & Scramble. Trappers Turn Golf Course, Wisconsin Dells, WI.

October 6, 2015 - Sporting Clays Challenge. Whispering Emerald Ridge Game Farm, N3954 640th St., Menomonie, WI.

December 1-3, 2015 - MWFPA 111th Annual Convention and 88th Processing Crops Conference.  KI Convention Center, Green Bay, WI.
Midwest Food Processors Assoc. | | |
4600 American Pkwy.
Suite 210
Madison, WI 53718