May 17, 2021 Issue
This Thursday, May 22nd!
A Recipe for Succe$$-Training Pays
Clean Water Technology with MST

Staff training is becoming increasingly important in the onboarding, continued education, cross training, and upgrading of skills in an organization. In addition, today’s situation demands distance learning as well as online and on demand options. CWT will outline how distance learning for operators & maintenance staff can be ‘hands-on’ and help enhance a company’s bottom-line and sustainability efforts even in a complicated area such as wastewater treatment.

CWT customers say they needed help in training and upgrading wastewater treatment operator’s skills, as well as understanding the primary treatment systems (the GEM® System) in their plants. Initial in-person operator training at the time of equipment install was not enough. As time elapsed, operators’ jobs became more complicated, new operators were hired, the company wanted to cross-train people, and maintenance engineers needed education on the equipment. CWT teamed with Multi-Skill Training Services to develop programs for customer training and enhanced success. 

Join us for this webinar to learn how you can facilitate your suppliers’ understanding of your needs to train your staff and help you save operating costs.

Who Should Attend
Plant Managers, Plant Engineers, Wastewater Treatment Plant Managers, Environmental & Health Engineers, Financial Officers, Compliance Managers, Food Safety Officers,

Human Resources, anyone involved in wastewater and effluent compliance standards for the company, and anyone involved in performing or specifying maintenance and operations plans for plant operations.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Kalahari for a rate of $99. Though we've passed the deadline of May 2nd to book, they may still offer the discount. Be sure to indicate you are with MWFPA group when making your reservation. BOOK A ROOM HERE

Kalahari Resort
1305 Kalahari Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI, 53965
Featured Event

Annual Summit & Scramble
June 2-3, 2021

TICK TOCK .... If you haven't already registered today would be a good time to do so! We have room for only 30 more golfers before we hit our max.

Please consider sponsoring or donating an item for the golfer favor bags (225 count).
Widespread Commodity Shortages Raise Inflation Fears
In a normal year, Ron Whalen, vice president of Roger B. Kennedy Construction, receives one or two “Dear Valued Customer” letters from suppliers notifying him of price increases for certain materials. This year, a stack of 30 such warnings sits on his desk in Orlando, Fla., alerting him that things as diverse as lumber, drywall, aluminum and steel are going to cost 10 to 20 percent more. The notices are the result of commodity shortages that are rippling across the United States economy as growing demand for housing, cars, electronics and other goods runs up against supply chain congestion and high tariffs left behind by former President Donald J. Trump. The shortages — and the price increases they are eliciting — are being watched closely by the Biden administration, which is under increasing pressure from industry groups and businesses to take steps to ease them.
Farmers Worried by Possible New Capital Gains, Estate Tax Liability

Very few farm families pay estate taxes but almost all large-scale farmers are worried that changes in the tax code will increase their exposure to capital gains or estate taxes, said a Purdue University survey released on Tuesday. The poll was conducted before the White House said nearly all inherited farms would be exempt from the proposed tax changes. Biden proposed the tax law changes to help to pay for his infrastructure and jobs packages, but Congress will decide in the coming months whether to do so. Some 95% of producers taking part in the Purdue survey said they were “somewhat” or “very” concerned about possible elimination of “stepped-up basis” in calculating the value of inherited property. Under stepped-up basis, property is assessed at its current value, rather than the price it was acquired. By ending the stepped-up basis, capital gains taxes would generally go up. Read More

Source: Michael Best Strategies
Ag, Conservation Alliance Issues Recommendations for USDA Carbon Bank

A broad coalition of farm and conservation groups says a USDA-run carbon bank should be used to test ways to establish carbon accounting guidelines, expand the use of climate-friendly farming practices and enable small-scale farms and minority producers to benefit from carbon markets. The concept of a USDA-managed carbon bank remains controversial on Capitol Hill, where many Republicans are strongly opposed to the idea of USDA employing its Commodity Credit Corp. spending authority to trade in carbon credits and set a floor under their price. Recommendations released by the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance on Monday focus on using the carbon bank to run a limited series of pilot projects. That was intentionally in line with how Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said he would initially use a carbon bank, which is the brainchild of Robert Bonnie, President Joe Biden's nominee as USDA undersecretary for farm production and conservation programs Read More

Source: Michael Best Strategies
Consumer Brands Association Expects 2021 CPG Demand to be About 8% Higher Than 2019

On April 20, the Consumer Brands Association released the CPG Economic Pulse: 2020 in Review, a first look at a full year of economic data highlighting the consumer packaged goods industry response to a year of unpredictability and unrelenting consumer demand. In March 2020, there was no way to predict how COVID-19 would affect the U.S. economy, and what followed was a roller coaster year.  Read More

Source: CLFP
Researchers Say Zero Risk Not Possible in Food Safety

There is no such thing as zero risk when it comes to food safety, according to researchers. Consumers, industry and governments typically desire foods that are free of any risk but scientists said zero risk is unattainable in food production regardless of the severity of inactivation treatments or stringency of sampling programs. Risk-based approaches such as Microbial Risk Assessment (MRA) are increasingly used to manage food safety hazards, evaluate risks and identify control strategies that reduce risks to an acceptable level. Researchers Marcel Zwietering, Alberto Garre, Martin Wiedmann and Robert Buchanan presented the study, published in Current Opinion in Food Science, at IAFP Europe. Read More

Source: Michael Best Strategies
The Plan Prescription for a Better Mood

Did you know you may be able to prevent depression and anxiety, as well as improve your cognitive abilities by eating a high-quality diet full of fruits and vegetables? PBH Chief Food & Nutrition Scientist Dr. Taylor Wallace shares some of the latest research on the subject as well as tips and insights for enjoying more fruits and veggies every day. Read More

Source: PBH Foundation

With Minnesota Unemployment Fund Dry, Taxes Going Up

Lauryn Schothorst, director of workplace management and development policy for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, said the taxes are expected to steeply increase in coming years to replenish the fund, and any proposal that will impact the fund — and increase the tax burden on employers — shouldn’t be considered right now. Read More

Source: MN Chamber
The New Culture War: The Meat You Eat

The role of food in climate change is having its time in the spotlight, though advocates for eating less red meat probably weren't hoping for it to happen quite like this.

Why it matters: The food system, including raising cattle for consumption, accounts for greater than 30% of worldwide emissions of heat-trapping gases. How to reduce those emissions is an increasingly urgent question as the world remains off track to meet the temperature targets set in the Paris agreement. Read More

Source: Wall Street Journal Capital Journal

WMC Asks State Supreme Court to Hear Case Over COVID Data

The state's largest business lobby asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday to weigh in on a lawsuit over the release of state data on coronavirus outbreaks at businesses. Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce sued in October to stop the release of the data, arguing that disclosing the names of businesses could "irreparably harm" their reputations. The business lobby also argued that data aggregated from patient health care records should be confidential and that it could make employees identifiable. In the petition to the state Supreme Court filed Tuesday, WMC attorney Ryan Walsh claimed the appeals court's "breathtakingly incorrect interpretation" could have "massive and devastating statewide consequences for medical privacy."  Read More

Source: WMC
AFFI Study Shows 2020 Growth in Frozen Sales
AFFI’s Power of Frozen research was recently cited in this infographic from Acosta that highlights how frozen foods were one of the biggest cooking trends to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a great example of how AFFI’s business insights are leveraged by our third-party stakeholders.

Source: AFFI
Most of MNs COVID-19 Restrictions Will End May 28; Masks End July
Business leaders hailed the announcement, which a coalition of local business networks spearheaded by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce said Thursday was "a long time coming for businesses who have endured incremental dial turns while simultaneously keeping their businesses afloat and protecting employee and customer safety."  Read More

Source: MN Chamber
EPA Chief Focuses on Farmers in First Iowa Visit, Skips Environmental Groups
The country’s top environmental official spent his first trip to Iowa largely meeting with farmers, not environmentalists. Michael Regan, a former top North Carolina environment official who now heads the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, told reporters at a news conference near the Dico Superfund site in Des Moines he will be in no rush to change the state’s voluntary Nutrient Reduction Strategy. He did not sound like a man moving quickly to regulate nitrogen and phosphorus, the two main farm fertilizers causing pollution issues from Iowa’s streams and lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. Environmental groups have long pushed for that, suing at times in unsuccessful attempts to force action. Read More

Source: Michael Best Strategies
OSHA Moves Closer to Issuing Emergency Temporary Standard on COVID-19
OSHA on April 26 submitted for review to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs a draft of an emergency temporary standard related to COVID-19 – one of the final steps before the ETS can be published in the Federal Register. After publication of the ETS, OSHA would begin working on a permanent standard that would go into effect within six months. President Joe Biden on Jan. 21 signed an Executive Order that directed OSHA to consider an ETS related to COVID-19 and, if considered necessary, issue it by March 15. Lawmakers voiced their concerns that an ETS “would mandate actions based on a snapshot in time for a disease and public health guidance that is constantly evolving.” Read More

Source: WMC
Food Investments Grow During Pandemic

U.S. Farmers Remain Optimistic On Prices, Concerned About Tax Proposals, Ag Barometer Shows U.S. farmers are becoming more optimistic about the ag economy, plan to buy more equipment, expect farmland values to continue to rise and are more likely to get vaccinated from the COVID-19 virus, according to the monthly Ag Economy Barometer. The Ag Economy Barometer sentiment index is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey. This month’s survey was conducted from April 19-23, 2021. April's reading of the barometer was 178, virtually unchanged from a month earlier when the index stood at 177 and just 5 points below its all-time high of 183, which was set back in October.  Read More

Source: Michael Best Strategies
Top 7 Taste Trends Emerging Worldwide Post COVID

The most recent Global Taste Trends report from ingredients producer Kerry has identified five trends: acceptable sweetness, taste exploration, novel flavors, seasonality and enticing eats. The pandemic has also spurred an increased interest in better-for-you ingredients with US consumers looking for maca, ginseng and reshi mushrooms, according to the report. Read More

Source: CBA
AFFI Pushing More Frozen F&V in State WIC Programs
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced they are incentivizing the purchase of fruits and vegetables for participants in the agency’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Funded by the American Rescue Plan, USDA is expanding WIC vouchers from $9 and $11 a month to $35 a month. This is a great opportunity for frozen foods since participants can make their benefits go further by purchasing frozen fruits and vegetables. We also know from our Power of Frozen research that when a consumer walks down the frozen aisle with an item on their list, the majority will purchase additional foods. Frozen foods can help these shoppers with a variety of nutritious, convenient food options to feed their families.
There are 10 states that only allow the purchase of fresh produce with WIC benefits and as part of AFFI’s advocacy efforts, we will continue pressure USDA to ensure frozen foods are included in all federal feeding programs. As part of AFFI’s advocacy efforts, we continue to put pressure on USDA to ensure frozen is included in all federal feeding programs. In addition, AFFI is urging Congress to enact a Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) bill that provides access to a greater variety of nutritious foods, including frozen. Read More

Source: AFFI
Processors Struggle to Fill Surge in Demand
As the pandemic winds down, friction between food processors and their trade customers is heating up.

Supply chain problems and other difficulties are preventing food processors from getting complete orders to retailers and restaurants, the Wall Street Journal reports. This is leading Walmart, Sysco and others to re-impose penalties for late or incomplete orders. The suppliers are struggling with labor shortages, unavailable or suddenly pricey ingredients, shipping problems and other difficulties.
MN Governor Walz, Lawmakers "Close to Reaching Compromise" on State Budget
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders were expected to negotiate late into the evening Sunday in hopes of reaching an agreement over a two-year state budget and how to proceed with several policy disagreements, including laws governing policing and Walz’ emergency powers. Read More

Source: MN Chamber
Amid Workforce Shortage, WMC Asks Governor to End Federal Unemployment Enhancements
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) – the combined state chamber and manufacturers’ association – sent a letter to Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday urging him to end federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs that are contributing to the state’s dire workforce shortage. WMC explains in the letter that the inability to find workers has reached a crisis level in Wisconsin, and that if nothing is done, irreversible damage will be done to the state’s economy. Read More

Source: WMC
States Ending Boosted Unemployment Benefits Amid Hiring Concerns
A growing number of GOP-led states are planning to end supplemental unemployment benefits designed to help out-of-work Americans weather the coronavirus pandemic, a move they say will help businesses struggling to hire employees. 

Alabama, Iowa and Mississippi joined Arkansas, Montana and South Carolina on Tuesday in cutting off the sweetened aid, which provided an extra $300 a week on top of regular state unemployment benefits. The supplemental benefit is not slated to expire until Sept. 6, 2021. Arizona reinstated a policy requiring people who want to collect unemployment benefits to actively search for work. Vermont also reimplemented a similar policy as of this week. Read More

Source: IMA
Ag Groups Urging Congress to Protect Tax Provisions
A coalition of ag groups has sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to protect sound tax policy. As Congress focuses on investing in the nation’s infrastructure and human resources, the ag groups say some of the legislative proposals could jeopardize the future of family farms and ranches, and they’re asking Congress not to alter or eliminate long-standing tax code provisions that have benefited agriculture and related industries. The letter highlighted three critically important tax provisions, Stepped-up basis, Like-kind exchanges, and the Section 199A business income deduction.  Read More

Source: Michael Best Strategies
Inflation Speeds up in April, Consumer Prices Leap 4.2%, Fastest Since 2008
Inflation in April accelerated at its fastest pace in more than 12 years as the U.S. economic recovery kicked into gear and energy prices jumped higher, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. The Consumer Price Index, which measures a basket of goods as well as energy and housing costs, rose 4.2% from a year earlier. A Dow Jones survey had expected a 3.6% increase. The month-to-month gain was 0.8%, against the expected 0.2%. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the core CPI increased 3% from the same period in 2020 and 0.9% on a monthly basis. The respective estimates were 2.3% and 0.3%. The increase in the headline CPI rate was the fastest since September 2008.

Source: IMA
April Food & Bev Facility Investment Activity Remains Subdues
Despite considerable recovery by the US economy amid lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of investment activity in North American food and beverage facilities remained relatively weak in April, decelerating from March to well below 2020's average. That's according to the latest report from industrial and commercial market intelligence firm SalesLeads, which tracks investment project activity for facilities across numerous verticals, including food and beverage. These projects include announcements for new facilities, or upgrades to existing ones. Read More

Source: CLFP
Processors and Suppliers Find Healthier Profiles for Fats & Oils
The words "healthy" and "fat" rarely go together. However, food processors know that countless consumer products would not exist without the structure and taste provided by fat and oil.  Read More.

Source: CLFP
Frozen Food Sales Recap for April
Frozen food sales fell 12.1% below year ago levels in April, but remained highly elevated versus pre-pandemic 2019 levels, at +11.8%. With the exception of prepared vegetables, all areas tracked ahead of the 2019 pre-pandemic sales levels. In particular frozen breakfast solutions, meat, poultry and seafood still saw big gains in comparison to the pre-pandemic 2019 baseline. Read the April insights report here.

Source: AFFI

General Mills Buys Pet Treats Unit from Tyson for $1.2B

Tyson Foods is selling its pet treats unit -- Nudges, True Chew and Top Chews brands and a production facility in Iowa -- for $1.2 billion to General Mills. "We believe the time is right to transition these great brands to an established pet foods business where they will complement their existing portfolio," said Tyson Foods' Noelle O'Mara.

Del Monte Foods Announces First Retail Boba Tea

Del Monte Foods is launching Joyba Bubble Tea, a 12-ounce beverage in Strawberry Lemonade Green Tea, Raspberry Dragon Fruit Black Tea, Mango Passion Fruit Green Tea and Cherry Hibiscus Tea flavors. The teas don't include artificial sweeteners or preservatives, and the boba itself is made with a soft seaweed extract, to meet consumers' demand for clean label products.

USDA to Purchase $159.4 Million in Nutritious Consumer-Ready Seafood for More Food Assistance Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it will purchase up to $159.4 million in domestically produced seafood, fruits, legumes, and nuts for distribution to a variety of domestic food assistance programs, including charitable institutions. These purchases are being made utilizing funds under the authority of Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act (Pub. L. 74-320), as amended (Section 32). This is one of many actions USDA is taking to address the disruptions in the food system supply chain and worsened food insecurity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. “The impacts of COVID-19 reverberated from our farms to our oceans,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Read More

Source: Michael Best Strategies
Progressives Want to Go Bigger than Biden on Free School Meals

Progressives in Congress are pushing to go much bigger than President Joe Biden’s plan to expand access to school meals: Make them free for everyone. Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Friday intend to introduce legislation in both chambers that would make breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks free to all school children regardless of household income levels. Read More

Source: Michael Best Strategies
Wisconsin to Receive $700 Million Less in Federal COVID-19 Stimulus Funds Than Projected

Wisconsin will receive $700 million less in federal COVID-19 dollars than was originally projected for the most recent stimulus package — which Democratic leaders in the state said could hinder ongoing pandemic recovery efforts.

In a letter sent Tuesday, Gov. Tony Evers and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, asked U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to reconsider the lower allocation, which would be split between two payments separated by a 12-month span. The Democratic lawmakers called the reduced allocation “problematic” for the state as it looks to rebuild from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

Source: WisPolitics
Survey Shows Plenty of Confusion Still Out There Regarding Use-by Dates

With food waste a major concern in the United States, food producers have attempted to minimize unnecessary waste by altering language around dates on packages. Read More

Your financial support is what allows us to provide opportunities for students' continuing education in the industry, and makes this annual event an overall success!
Summit Reception Sponsor
Lakeside Foods

Gold Sponsor
Lyco Manufacturing Company

19th Hole Sponsor
Seneca Foods Corporation

Silver Sponsors
Bush Brothers & Company
Crown Cork & Seal
Silgan Containers Manufacturing Corporation

Scholarship Hole Sponsors
Seneca Foods Corporation
Trivium Packaging

Bronze Sponsors
Alliant Energy
Anderson Chemical Company
Bonduelle USA
Chippewa Valley Bean Company
Hydrite Chemical
Oxbo International
Syngenta Vegetable Seeds
Lunch Sponsors
JP Cullen
ProEx Food

Hole Sponsors
Ellingson Companies
Gallatin Valley Seed
Harris Moran Seed Company
Lubriplate Lubricants
M3 Insurance
Nelson-Jameson, Inc.
Pearl Engineering
Plainfield Trucking
Seminis Vegetable Seeds
Summit Refrigeration Group
Superior Transport & Logistics
Syngenta Vegetable Seeds
Verder, Inc.

Nelson-Jameson, Inc.
Summit Refrigeration Group
Seminis Vegetable Seeds

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Mark Your Calendar
Clean Water Technology with MST

June 2-3 - Annual Spring Summit & Scramble
June 2nd - SUMMIT: The Board of Directors, AMO/Convention Committees and Raw Products Committee will be meeting in-person at the Kalahari Convention Center the day prior to the golf scramble. (Request for RSVPs at a later date.)

June 3rd - SCRAMBLE: Back by popular demand, the highly anticipated annual in-person golf outing! Trappers Turn, Wisconsin Dells
June 10 - Webinar presentation by JJ Keller (Topic to be announced soon)

November 30-December 2 - Annual Convention & Processing Crops Conference, Kalahari Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells

Exhibitor Registration Opens July 1