Arlington, Va. – Leaders and executives from across the frozen food industry participated in the American Frozen Food Institute’s (AFFI) 2023 Government Action Summit, held May 9-10, in Washington, D.C. During the event, attendees met with Congressional representatives and staff to promote the passage of the Supporting All Healthy Options When Purchasing Produce (SHOPP) Act and called for a risk-based approach in federal food safety policies.
“AFFI and its members are committed to providing more than 330 million American consumers with a variety of nutritious, affordable, delicious and convenient food choices year-round that also help reduce our food waste footprint,” said Alison Bodor, AFFI President and CEO. “We are equally committed to an open, earnest and collaborative dialogue with policymakers to ensure federal nutrition programs provide the options consumers need to easily enjoy a healthy, affordable diet.”
Prior to Congressional visits, AFFI members participated in a half-day food policy conference to explore Beltway perspectives on frozen food’s role in building a healthier future, as well as the potential reorganization of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) food division. Attendees heard from leading food policy experts, including staff members from the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, former FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor, and consumer advocates.
That set the table for meetings on Capitol Hill, where industry leaders advocated for key food policies, including:
- Quick passage of the Supporting All Healthy Options When Purchasing Produce (SHOPP) Act. The recently introduced SHOPP Act would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to consider frozen fruits and vegetables in the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP), and allow the inclusion of frozen fruits, vegetables and legumes in the Produce Prescription Program.
- Requiring the FDA to incorporate the latest available science regarding Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) as the agency updates its Compliance Policy Guide.
- Urging substantive structural reform within FDA’s human foods program to help make the agency more effective, efficient and transparent.
Virtually all U.S. households (98.6%) purchase frozen food at least once a year and 2022 sales reached more than $72 billion. The frozen food industry is an important part of the broader food and agriculture sector that creates more than 42 million direct and indirect jobs across the supply chain.
“The Government Action Summit provides a unique opportunity for leaders in the frozen food industry to meet with their members of Congress and communicate on the policy issues that will shape their businesses for years to come,” Bodor added. “This year’s participation and return to an in-person format demonstrates the importance AFFI and its members place on sound public policy and highlights the collaborative and cooperative approach AFFI and its members bring to the policymaking process.”
The Government Action Summit is an annual event for AFFI and its members. A full review of AFFI’s priority policy issues can be found online at www.affi.org/advocacy.
The American Frozen Food Institute is the member-driven national trade association representing all segments of the frozen food supply chain from manufacturers to suppliers and distributors. AFFI advocates before legislative and regulatory entities on the industry’s behalf, serves as the voice for the industry and convenes industry leadership to create an environment where frozen foods are essential in today’s dynamic marketplace. www.affi.org