MFA NEWS SCAN JUNE 22, 2015
- Thursday, June 25, 2015
SAVE THE DATE! MFA ANNUAL MEETING OCTOBER 28 WITH GOVERNOR BAKER KEYNOTE
On Wednesday, October 28 the Massachusetts Food Association will host its 109th Annual Meeting along with its presentation of MFA’s twenty-fifth Annual Hall of Fame Award and seventh Annual Community Service Award. Our keynote speaker for the event will be Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. The event will kick off with the Massachusetts Best Bagger competition at 2:30. Registration for the Annual meeting will begin at 3:30 and the Governor will begin his address at 4:00. Following the Governor’s remarks will be a brief Annual Meeting with the election of the Association’s officers and directors. The Meeting will be followed by a presentation of the awards and will close with a networking station buffet beginning at 6:00. Please mark your calendar so as not to miss this important industry event! Please contact the office if you have any questions.
AG RELEASES FINAL EARNED SICK TIME REGULATIONS
On Friday, June 19 the MA Attorney General’s office released its final version of the state’s Earned Sick Time Regulations 940 CMR 33.00. MFA has created a two page summary on the regulations. Please contact the office if you would like a copy.
REMINDER – UPC BARCODES ON COUPONS EXPIRING
UPC Prefix 5 barcodes from manufacturer coupons will soon be retired. As a result, these symbols will no longer be used after June 30, 2015 as manufacturers shift to exclusive use of the GS1 DataBar™ format for coupons. To ensure readiness, retailers may simply need to enable the functionality in their systems, or in some instances, software and/ or hardware modifications may be required. To avoid a disadvantaged position in the marketplace after June 30, retailers are encouraged to implement and activate these technologies as soon as possible. For more information, click HERE.
HEALTH CARE TAX TIPS FROM THE IRS
The following health care “tax tips” were distributed by the IRS via their e-news for small businesses:
· Health Care Tax Tip 2015-36 - Get to Know the Health Care Law’s Employer Shared Responsibility Payment;
· Health Care Tax Tip 2015-35 - The Health Care Law and Employers: The ACA Basics for Applicable Large Employers;
· Health Care Tax Tip 2015-34 - ACA and Employers: How Seasonal Workers Affect Your ALE Status;
· Health Care Tax Tip 2015-33 - ACA Information for Employers: Counting Full-time and Full-time Equivalent Employees;
TRANS FATS TO BE A THING OF THE PAST
Last week, the FDA issued a final decision that directs food manufacturers to phase out partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) in three years. The FDA will no longer classify PHOs as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) to be used in foods. It has been estimated by the FDA that this decision will cost the industry as much at $6.2 billion over the next 20 years. More on the FDAs decision can be read HERE. Food manufacturers will now begin to look for safe alternatives, which depending on the product, might not be a simple process (for more on that process, please click HERE).
MEMO FROM THE MA OFFICE OF TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance and Technology (OTA)
Would you like to reduce water usage at your facility? Do you want to use less energy? Do you need any advice on where to look for the financial assistance of your energy projects? Are you using Ammonia, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Phosphoric or Nitric Acids, but have not checked if you need to report their use? Do you know if you are in compliance with EPCRA, the fire marshal’s hazardous materials processing rules, hazardous waste management requirements, emergency planning, and other environmental, health and safety laws?
Did we get your attention? Now, please read below to find out who we are and what we can do to help businesses like yours.
The Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance and Technology (OTA) staff of engineers, chemists and environmental experts provides Massachusetts businesses with free non-regulatory and confidential assistance with toxic use reduction, energy and water conservation, and compliance with relevant regulations. OTA services are designed to help businesses understand regulations and resolve compliance issues, reduce toxics use, and help companies move toward more sustainable manufacturing practices. OTA provides onsite, phone and/or email technical support to help businesses save money while improving public and employee health through reducing toxics and conserving resources. Since 1990, OTA helped more than 2,000 Massachusetts facilities to boost their economic performance while also curbing their use of toxic chemicals. OTA has been instrumental in helping companies reduce the use of millions of pounds of toxic chemicals while saving millions of dollars in operating costs.
Specific services OTA offers include:
• Improve water use efficiency
• Comply with federal and state regulations
• Reduce wastewater discharge
• Implement other effective water conservation measures
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
• Identify and evaluate opportunities and technologies for using electricity, gas, and oil more
• Facilitate renewable energy projects, by providing information on technologies, successful
applications, funding and site selection
• Assess opportunities for combined heat and power, lighting improvements, load management
and demand response strategies, and
• Increase understanding of green building strategies, pertaining to new design, construction
or the retrofitting of existing structures.
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