By: Jennifer Hatcher, Chief Public Policy Officer, Senior Vice President, Government and Public Affair, FMI
A new year, an updated brand and a forward-looking list of priorities in the public policy arena. FMI’s government affairs team surveys our member companies annually to help us with this review and ensure that our policy priorities reflect the views of our members and the food industry. We then spend time with both government relations leads and CEOs to ensure these priorities reflect the needs of the industry as they see them.
These priorities are more strategic than tactical and more forward looking. These priority issues help tell the story of how our industry continues to adapt as new technologies bring change to our workforce and new themes and trends adjust what consumers expect from their shopping experiences.
The following high-level list of policy issues that our member companies deemed important for the year ahead is by no means a comprehensive list of all of the issues that we will be working on, especially as the needs of our members develop and the political winds in Washington change. The issues are listed in alphabetical rather than ranked order. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback for our 2020 priority issues survey.
- Data Management: Privacy/Data Security/Artificial Intelligence
- Food Assistance Programs: SNAP/WIC
- Food Safety: Food Recalls/Withdrawals/Allergens/Innovations
- Payments Policy and Swipe Fee Reform: Fees and Routing
- Pharmacy Issues: DIR Fees/PBM Reform
- Regulatory Clarity on Hemp-Derived Products (CBD)
- Supply Chain Transparency
- Sustainability/Food Waste: Single-Use Plastics, Recycling, Packaging
- Tax Reform: Retail Glitch, Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), Permanence
- Trade: USMCA and Tariffs
- Wage and Labor Policy/Automation: Future of the Workforce
While an election year often serves as a roadblock for significant legislative progress in Washington, there will still be many opportunities this year to make progress on Capitol Hill, with the regulatory agencies and in the states and local governments across the country.