Ag News: New Grocery Lobby Power
**The food industry’s most powerful lobbying group, the Grocery Manufacturers of America, has a new rival in efforts to influence lawmakers.
According to agweb.com, four companies, Danone, Mars, Unilever and Nestlé, have joined forces to form the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance.
The power-group plans to champion foods they determine are “sustainable” and “healthy.”
The spat between GMA and the four companies began last year when Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, announced it was leaving GMA over disagreements over responding to changing consumer tastes and desires.
**Tariffs are beginning to hurt U.S. fruit exporters.
Washington Apple Commission president Todd Fryhover tells the Packer, during the last two weeks of June, Washington apple exports to Mexico were off about 40% compared with the same two weeks a year ago.
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue has talked about a potential mitigation plan to help growers deal with retaliatory tariffs and hopes to work out the details by Labor Day.
**The clock is ticking for Ag leaders to hammer out a farm bill acceptable to both houses and the President.
As reported in Western Farm Press, with principal players in the House, Texas Republican Mike Conaway and Minnesota Democrat Collin Peterson, and the Senate, Kansas Republican Pat Roberts and Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow, the question remains who else will step forward to lead the way.
If the House wants welfare reform more than it wants to pass a farm bill, there could be an unsurmountable issue.