MA ITEM PRICING BILL RELEASED FROM HOUSE WAYS & MEANS
On Friday, May 11 the Massachusetts House Ways & Means Committee reported favorably out of the Committee item pricing legislation supported by the Association. The proposal (H4089) is designed to allow food stores and food departments to annually apply for a waiver to the state’s item pricing law, with certain conditions met for the waiver. The proposal would require any food store/department to place a price scanner for every 5,000 square feet of selling space. The bill is expected to be taken up and passed by the House shortly, before moving on to the Senate. It is presently before the Bill in Third Reading Committee. Please contact the office if you have any questions.
MA WIC NEWS
The Massachusetts Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program is seeking new members for the WIC Vendor Advisory Council.
The WIC Vendor Advisory Council meets quarterly to provide advisory opinion to the WIC Program on retail store management policies, trainings, and improving the retail experience for participants. The council is comprised of representatives of the several retail associations—all sizes and types of WIC contract stores from across the state, local WIC program staff, MA Food Association, and WIC vendor staff. The meetings are held at the Department of Public Health in Boston.
One of the major initiatives that the Vendor Advisory Council will provide input for is the implementation of a new food benefits system with the WIC Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system.
If you are interested in becoming a member of Vendor Advisory Council, please email the Vendor Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, WIC Vendor Application Packets are available for the fiscal years 2013 - 2015. Contact Lucy at the email address above or contact MFA. Packets must be completed and returned to the MA WIC office no later than 4:00PM on June 4.
Stickers identifying items as WIC approved are also available through the MA WIC office and can be used to identify WIC approved products throughout a store by sticking them to products themselves or on a placard next to WIC items.
MA DEP CREATES USEFUL WEBSITES TO PREPARE FOR ORGANICS BAN
In anticipation of the upcoming ban on organics from landfills (July 2014), the MA Department of Environmental Protection released the following links to useful websites designed to assist businesses in preparing for the ban.
* MassDEP’s organics web page, recently reorganized, is available at http://www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/reduce/composti.htm.
* The Massachusetts food waste generator data discussed at today’s meeting is available at http://www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/reduce/commorg.htm#commercial – scroll down to “Study: Identification, Characterization & Mapping of Food Waste & Food Waste Generators in Massachusetts”
* General information on the current waste bans can be found at http://www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/solid/wastebans.htm.
o The direct link to the regulations is http://www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/laws/bansreg.htm.
o The direct link to the waste ban guidance is http://www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/laws/policies.htm#bans.