Key Issues on the Horizon

Thursday, January 16th, 2014   /  Tags: coalition, farm bill, food

MTA President Mike Torrey was recently invited to share his perspectives on challenges facing the food industry at both the federal and state levels at a recent Food Industry Executives Association’s 86th annual convention. The Food Industry Association Executives represent a network of local, state, regional and national food associations throughout the United States and Canada. 

Mike provided convention attendees with an update on the atmosphere in D.C. and key issues on the horizon. In his speech, Mike discussed the reality of gridlock that has become the norm in D.C., as evidenced by the government shutdown last October. This reality has added to the challenges that have slowed the farm bill process. The farm bill and appropriations processes should be watched closely as even relatively small changes to legislative text can have a large impact.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has been one of the highest profile components of the farm bill. The House went so far as to pass SNAP legislation that was completely separate from the farm bill. SNAP provides nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families. MTA works with a large, diverse group of stakeholders to preserve consumer food choice in the SNAP program.  Defining foods as “in” or “out” would be impossible and extremely costly with added bureaucracy.  It would be very difficult—if not impossible—for the government to accurately track the nutritional profile of the more than 300,000 foods available now and the more than 15,000 that are introduced each year.

This issue is just one example that showcases why it is important to remain proactive in reaching out to national, state, and local leaders so they understand your perspectives on the issues that matter most to you. For more information about how MTA has engaged on behalf of our clients throughout the farm bill process, please contact