The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association offers members the opportunity to join committees working to serve the best interests of Pennsylvania’s food industry. Committee members stay current on issues via PFMA staff and may be called upon to contact legislators and/or state officials about food industry concerns. The following committees meet throughout the year either in person or via conference call. All committees review and discuss current legislation affecting the industry, discuss possible action and strategies for dealing with these issues and suggest policies and direction for the PFMA Government Relations Department. Below is a summary of committee activities and a sample of their current issues.
Legislative Committee – Discuss issues such as the impact of annual state budget proposals and negotiations, adult beverage sales, tobacco and OTP issues, interchange fees, vendor sales tax allowance, fresh food financing, GMO and menu labeling, lottery sales, paid leave, property tax reform, SNAP funding, sustainability issues and more. Group includes Philadelphia and Alcohol Sales Task Force subcommittees.
Philadelphia Legislative Committee – The Philadelphia Legislative Committee focuses on legislation before Philadelphia City Council. The Committee generally meets by conference call on the last Thursday of every other month with additional meetings as needed. In 2018, the Committee discussed our ongoing efforts regarding sugar-sweetened beverage tax repeal, local tobacco regulations, menu labeling proposals, and workplace standards.
Food Protection Committee – Discusses Pennsylvania laws and regulations including the Food Code, Food Employee Certification Act, Country-of-Origin labeling, FDA Food Safety Modernization Act rules, promoting Good Agriculture and Handling Practices trainings for growers (GHP/GAP), agro-terrorism and more. The committee works closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture on a regular basis.
Loss Prevention Committee – Discusses issues such as organized retail crime, shared crime reporting, counterfeit bill technologies, retail theft penalty legislation, law enforcement education initiatives, skimming and Point of Sale breaches, associate awareness programs and store security strategies. The committee works closely with law enforcement officials.
PA Pharmacy Council – Addresses issues in the retail pharmacy industry such as pharmacy technician certification, pharmaceutical accountability monitoring (PAMS), real-time tracking of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine purchases, injectable medications and immunizations, Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid reimbursement rates.
Gaming Committee – Recent reforms to Pennsylvania’s gaming laws offer potential new revenue streams for PFMA’s members. It is imperative that industry stakeholders have a forum to discuss related issues and speak as one voice on those issues when necessary. The PFMA Gaming Industry Committee unites those stakeholders to consider legislative and regulatory issues, and coordinate efforts to support, improve, and protect the industry.
Fuels Committee – This committee discusses legislative and regulatory issues concerning the storage and sale of motor fuels such as seasonal gas boutique fuels, alternative fuels, octane testing, fuel point of sale transaction clearing, fuel taxes, fuel sales waivers during an emergency, pipeline supply obstacles, underground storage tank cleanup funding and more.
Sustainability Committee – Focuses on environmental sustainability issues, including reducing food waste, environmentally-friendly packaging, lowered power and fuel consumption, and food sustainability initiatives. This committee produces regular webinar education on topics of interest.
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Convenience Products Policy Committee -- Focuses on issues important to Pennsylvania Distributors Association members. The committee has worked on issues related to tobacco, tobacco-related, and ancillary items normally available in a convenience store setting
Weather and Emergency Preparedness -- PFMA staff work in conjunction with the PA Emergency Management Agency, the PA Department of Agriculture, PennDOT, and other partners to keep members updated in real time on extreme weather events, price gouging advisories, power outages, agroterrorism, road closures, and other emergency events.
Human Resources Committee – This committee discusses personnel issues, such as wage and hour, hiring and firing, personnel policies, and union and collective bargaining procedures. This committee often shares policies and experiences via email listserv.
SNAP and WIC Advisories -- PFMA sends interested members updates on issues relating to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, such as changes to stocking requirements, the implementation of eWIC in PA, and information on becoming a SNAP and/or WIC retailer. These updates can take on added urgency when the SNAP system is subject to change by measures such as the Farm Bill or as a result of unforeseen events such as a government shutdown.