From ABA President & CEO Robb MacKie
I recently had the opportunity to co-host an event for long-time friend of the industry Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO). He astutely remarked that Congress, particularly the Senate, is highly dysfunctional. He ticked off numerous bi-partisan initiatives in the Senate that would either help spur economic growth or reduce government obstacles to economic growth. Unfortunately, none of them nor the many pieces of legislation the House has passed and sent to the Senate are likely to see the light of day. He then remarked that, “the regulatory agencies, however, are fully “functional” and listed a dozen or so major regulatory proposals that, if finalized, would add further obstacles to economic growth.
As I have highlighted in this space on many occasions, ABA is diligently working to promote public policies that would allow the baking industry to do its part to the overall economic health of the country. ABA also vigorously opposes or works to mitigate any number of regulatory initiatives that would be detrimental to the industry and the more than 630,000 skilled employees who are its backbone.
You may not be aware, however, that ABA is leading the industry to solve industry challenges without needing government action. ABA has worked with industry partners to improve sanitation in bakeries through the sanitary equipment design workshops and helped revitalize the Baking Industry Sanitation Standards Committee (BISSC) standard. The latest and potentially most beneficial effort is the recently signed ABA ENERGY STAR® Challenge with the EPA. This initiative will challenge bakers to lower their energy usage and improve their bottom lines by signing up for the ENERGY STAR® Challenge. Over the next few months, ABA will be establishing measurement matrixes and tools to help bakers of all sizes reduce their energy usage by 10 percent over 5 years. ABA will be announcing the preliminary results at IBIE 2013.
I encourage every ABA baker to assist in developing the criteria and tools and then sign up to take the challenge. Bakers don’t need to wait for Washington to tell them what is best for their bottom lines.