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Bakers Get Noticed in Washington

Following ABA’s Bakers’ Dozen Reception and congressional visits on Capitol Hill this past week, the following article was published in Politico:

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Subject: Morning Agriculture: Food march on D.C. continues…

By Helena Bottemiller Evich | 9/19/14 5:51 AM EDT

With help from Jason Huffman and Chase Purdy

FOOD MARCH ON D.C. CONTINUES: Lawmakers are hearing a whole lot about food and agriculture policy as interest groups cram their Capitol Hill visits into a short legislative session. Last week, a least six groups hosted fly-ins and this week another three are hitting the Hill: The Food Marketing Institute, the American Bakers Association and the National Confectioners Association.

Each have different asks. FMI, which represents grocery retailers, is laser-focused on menu labeling. The group hosted a congressional briefing yesterday with Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), co-sponsors of a bill that would keep mandatory menu labeling limited to just restaurants. If the Obama administration decides to go with a broad rule that covers retail, “it would be devastating,” said Brian Horrigan, director of business development for the Independent Grocers Alliance, who is in town to help deliver the message that menu labeling would be overly burdensome for grocers.

Bakers are talking to members this week about delays in rail shipments of wheat, grain and finished products, the Nutrition Facts proposal and the ITC Mexican Sugar dumping case, reports Mike Goscinski, the manager of ABA’s government relations and public affairs team. NCA has about 90 members making the rounds talking about concerns about the ongoing Country-of-Origin Labeling dispute. “It’s a big deal,” said Alison Boder, NCA’s executive vice president. “Our products are on Canada’s retaliatory list.” The candy group also is talking about the Mexico sugar dumping case, Nutrition Facts, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo’s GMO labeling bill.

BAKED TREATS AND SWEETS ON THE HILL: The American Bakers Association treated lawmakers and staff to sweets and other goodies this week. At a reception that featured products from Krispy Creme, Pepperidge Farms Chattanooga Bakery, Inc and others, ABA honored Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) as well as Reps. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) and John Kline (R-Minn.). Other lawmakers in attendance included: Reps. Bob Latta (R-Ohio),Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) and David Joyce (R-Ohio). The National Confectioners Association also hosted a reception, which included sweet companies like Spangler Candy (dum dum lollipops), Just Born (Peeps, Mike and Ikes) and Ghiradelli.