TopofPageMidwest Food Products Association News Bulletin  - March 16, 2018   
In This Issue
The MWFPA News Bulletin is underwritten in part by Bug Blocker Doors & Screens
Bug Blocker
Sign Up Now For MWFPA's Cleaning & Sanitation In Food Plants Seminar
MWFPA is pleased to again present its Cleaning and Sanitation in Food Plants seminar on Wed. April 11, 2018 at The Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI. 

Food safety remains the most important issue facing the food industry today.  Now more then ever  food processors need to demonstrate that safety is the top priority.  The proactive and preventative approach to controlling contamination through cleaning and sanitation is increasingly being recognized as a key factor in food safety management.

EXHIBITORS: Engage in face-to-face conversations with attendees by reserving table top space located in the general meeting room.

T he MWFPA Food Science & Technology Committee has organized this high quality seminar which incorporates the principles of sanitary practices in food facilities with the importance of sanitary design of equipment and facilities.  It is 
recommended for those in charge of sanitation and maintenance of food plants.

Review the exhibitor prospectus and registration here.  General registration here.

Top of Page 
Dayton Delivers Final MN State Of State Address
MN Gov. Mark Dayton delivered his eighth and last State of the State address to a joint session of the Minnesota Legislature Wednesday evening. 

The DFL governor, who is not running again, urged state lawmakers to unite to adapt the state's tax code to treat middle-class taxpayers more fairly, suggesting that both the tax bill passed last year by Congress and state tax changes earlier in 2017 disproportionately favored businesses.

He also called for more state spending on education and public works infrastructure, emphasizing that he wants to leave the state in stronger financial condition than when he took office at the beginning of 2011.

Watch the Gov's address
IL Panel Moves Bill To Create State-Sponsored Insurance Company
The IL House Labor Committee passed HB 4595 (Fine), a bill creating a state -run workers' compensation company.

Specifically it  would create the IL Employers Mutual Insurance Co. as a nonprofit that issues insurance for workers comp and occupational disease. The company would not be a state agency or receive taxpayer funding. It would be established with a $10 million loan from the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission Operations Fund to be repaid with interest.

Given the track record regarding finances of Illinois state government, it is difficult to believe the loan would be paid in a timely fashion. Furthermore, removing resources meant to support the operations of the Commission jeopardizes the entire adjudication of workers' compensation for injured workers as well as employers.

A similar bill was vetoed by the Governor last year (HB 2525).

The IL General Assembly now begins a three-week break and will return to the Capitol on Monday, April 9 for the final seven weeks of legislative session. The primary obligation and focus of the General Assembly after the recess will be passing a new state budget before the start of the fiscal year on July 1.  
MWFPA Urges Adoption of "White Space" Technology Regulations
MWFPA has sent a letter to Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pair urging adoption of regulations making TV White Space technology a reality in the market for broadband access in rural America.

White Space refers to the unused broadcasting frequencies in the wireless spectrum. Television networks leave gaps between channels for buffering purposes, and this space in the wireless spectrum is similar to what is used for 4G and so it can be used to deliver widespread broadband internet.

MWFPA's letter states that White Space spectrum could reach 80 percent of the rural population that lacks high-speed Internet access today.

Top of Page 
Trump Signs Off On Aluminum, Steel Tariffs
can of corn
President Trump made good on his promise to impose steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
Trump signed paperwork enacting tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum recently during an event at the White House.

Such tariffs would make canned foods vulnerable to competition from packaging made with alternative materials and therefore jeopardize jobs in an industry that employs tens of thousands of U.S. workers and pays approximately $3 billion in federal and state taxes. Even a small increase in the price of raw materials would create further price pressures on both can makers and food manufacturers in an already challenging economic environment.

In addition, the US steel industry is unable to provide enough tinplate to meet the needs of the canned food industry.  Therefore tariffs on tinplate w ill drive up prices for canned food, something that would hit families on food stamps hard because they eat more canned fruits and vegetables than wealthier households.  MWFPA members and members of the American Fruit & Vegetable Processor and Grower Coalition met with several lawmakers to discuss this issue last week prior to the President's announcement.

To find out more as to who are the winners and losers among the tariff plan and for MWFPA President Nick George's comments, see this article from the Chicago Tribune.  
Top of Page 
MWFPA Joins Steel & Aluminum Alliance
MWFPA and several agriculture and food groups have joined the Alliance for Competitive Steel and Aluminum Trade - a National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) coalition of groups "deeply concerned" about the effects of the proposed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum.

"Our alliance represents some of the most competitive industries in the U.S. economy, and we are deeply concerned about the effects that these tariffs will have on industries and companies that use steel and aluminum," said Rufus Yerxa, president of the National Foreign Trade Council. "We are also concerned about the retaliation against America's most competitive exporters. This 'double whammy' of higher prices to our domestic producers and retaliation against our exporters will endanger tens of thousands of quality American jobs."

Ag and food groups that joined the coalition include the American Soybean Association, the Beer Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, the National Pork Producers Council, the Pet Food Institute and U.S. Wheat Associates.

The alliance has released a white paper detailing the negative impacts of the tariffs.

Top of Page 
UM Offers Acidified Foods Training March 22
The University of Minnesota is providing another offering of their one-day workshop entitled, " Acidified Foods Training for Entrepreneurs and Food Processors." Participation will provide a certification to supervisors of thermally processed acidified food facilities (per 21 CFR 114).

The workshop will be Thursday, March 22 from 8:30 AM - 4 PM at the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus. Information about the course and registration can be found on their website.
For registration or course questions, please contact Jenna Windle at
Top of Page 
Friday/Weckel Scholarships Deadline April 27
Undergraduate students attending, or planning to attend, UW Madison, Platteville or River Falls and majoring in agriculture or food science are eligible for Friday/Weckel scholarships. Applications are due by April 27, 2018.

Information and applications can be downloaded from the MWFPA website, or by contacting Brian Elliott at:, or by calling 608-255-9946.
Top of Page 
Save the Date - MWFPA Spring Summit & Scramble
Save the date for MWFPA's Spring Summit & Scramble set for May 30-31, 2018 at Trappers Turn Golf Club in Wisconsin Dells, WI.

It's never too early to think spring and the MWFPA Spring Summit & Scramble. Plan now to join us for our annual association business and networking event. Look for more information coming soon to our website and social media outlets.
MWFPA Events You Won't Want To Miss
April 11, 2018MWFPA Cleaning & Sanitation in Food Plants.  The Wilderness Resort, Glacier Canyon Lodge, 45 Hillman Road, Wisconsin Dells, WI.

May 30 - 31, 2018MWFPA Spring Summit & Scramble.Trappers Turn Golf Course, Wisconsin Dells, WI

October 11, 2018MWFPA Sporting Clay Challenge.Caribou Gun Club, 30649 380th Street, Le Sueur, MN.
November 27 - 29, 2018MWFPA 114th Annual Convention and 91st Processing Crops Conference.  Kalhari Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells, WI.
Top of Page 
Other Educational Opportunities
April 10, 2018HTST Pasteurizer Operation and Procedures, Fox Valley Technical College, 1825 Bluemound Dr., Appleton, WI.  Registration fee  is $100 (includes continental breakfast, lunch and breaks).  Register online and download course materials here.

April 16 - 18, 2018: PACK EXPO East, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA. Produced by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. MWFPA joins the official Partner Program. We are also offering complimentary registration to you. Please use code: MWFPA. Register Now!

April 23-26, 2018Midwest Better Process Control School.
University of WI Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St, Madison, WI. 7:30 am - 5:00 pm, April 23-25, and 7:30 - noon, April 26.  The Better Process Control School provides the food industry with qualified personnel to meet FDA and USDA regulations under 21 CFR 113 and 114.

All processing of thermally processed low-acid or acidified foods which are packaged in hermetically-sealed containers must have certain critical operations supervised by a qualified person.

Registration, course information and a link to online registration is here: Registrations are now being accepted. Early registration deadline is Monday, April 9.  
Please contact Dr. Barbara Ingham, University of Wisconsin, with questions:   
September 30 - October 2, 2018: 10th Annual Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit, Hyatt Regency, Minneapolis, MN.  Register by June 30, 2018 to receive an early bird rate of $800! Click here to register.
Top of Page 
Check Out MWFPA's Customized Property & Casualty Insurance For Members Only
The Midwest Food Products Association is pleased to announce that its members now have access to an exclusive insurance program that is written specifically for our industry.  With assistance from the risk management firm Hays Companies, this program offers a customized Property and Casualty insurance program. 

The program offers a complete insurance program for all business types, from processor to manufacturers, logistics to wholesaler and anything in between.  No market segment is excluded, and no organization is too large or too small.  

Learn more about what the MWFPA Insurance Program can do for you by visiting the program's website:

For more information about the program, contact: Brad Van Swol at:Email:;  Phone: (414) 290-3581 
                                                  Like us on Facebook          Follow us on Twitter          View our profile on LinkedIn
Midwest Food Products Assoc. | | |
4600 American Pkwy.
Suite 210
Madison, WI 53718