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NAMA News – May 31, 2013

May 31, 2013

NAMA, Wheat Growers and Bakers Addressing Sustainability

For large food manufacturers and mega-retailers to meet their sustainability goals, they require data from suppliers in order to measure performance. Millers are receiving questionnaires seeking information about growers’ farming practices. Fuel and water consumption, and pesticide and fertilizer usage are among the questions being asked.

In order to make progress in providing data that is meaningful, NAMA is working in coalition with the National Association of Wheat Growers and the American Bakers Association. The coalition will be discussing collaboration in a meeting with The Sustainability Consortium (TSC), administered by the University of Arkansas and Arizona State University. Many of the largest corporations are TSC members including Walmart and McDonald’s.

NAMA Co-Hosts 54th Annual Corn Dry Milling Conference

The North American Millers’ Association and USDA’s National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research held its 54th Corn Dry Milling Conference in Peoria, Illinois.  The conference was well attended by NAMA members, industry representatives, and public and private researchers who heard from an array of speakers on topics ranging from whole grains in the national school meals program to the Impact of agronomic conditions on milling and end use quality.  In addition, Dr. Stephen Taylor, Professor and Co-Director of the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program at the University of Nebraska, gave a presentation on allergen threshold efforts.

Food and Drug Administration Releases Third Annual Reportable Food Registry Report

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released its third annual report on the Reportable Food Registry (RFR). The report, which covers from September 8, 2011 to September 7, 2012, sums up reports regarding food and feed safety made to the registry.  The report confirms the major patterns observed in the first two annual reports: foodborne pathogens and undeclared major food allergens (MFAs) continue to account for the vast majority of RFR entries (Salmonella accounted for 28.1%of entries, L. monocytogenes for 21.4%, and undeclared MFAs for 37.9%).  The commodities with the largest percentage of entries for undeclared MFAs were bakery (21.18%) and chocolates/confections/candy (12.94%).  Milk was the allergen most commonly reported in the most recent RFR report.

Senate to Consider Minor Change in Food Aid Provisions

When discussing the Farm Bill next week, the Senate will consider an amendment that would increase the amount of Local and Regional Purchase in an additional pilot program following up on the pilot shipments that were in the 2008 Farm Bill.  This is a very minimal step toward the Obama Administration’s proposal to overhaul Food for Peace by offering the flexibility to the Administration to use funds for overseas procurement or provision of cash to recipients.  Neither the Senate or House Farm Bill texts have any reference to that proposal and press reports indicate that recently the Administration has been considering offering much more limited compromise proposals in an attempt to salvage some of their flexibility goal.

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