The American Bakers Association (ABA) president/CEO Robb MacKie testifies against new Hours of Service (HOS) rules. His sentiments were echoed by representatives of the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI).

The American Bakers Association, Washington, reports that its president/CEO Robb MacKie told a House subcommittee that its rulings on Hours of Service regulations would spell problems for the baking industry. “This is the fourth rewrite of the Hours of Service regulations in twelve years," he said while testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending in November. "The proposal would require significant changes to industry distribution systems; affect employee work hours; and increase the cost of delivering fresh bakery products,” he said. “Ultimately, the consumer would feel these costs at the checkout aisle. With high unemployment and high food inflation, now is the worst time to push regulation for regulation's sake… the ABA appreciates this opportunity to provide its perspective today on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Hours of Service (HOS). Regulations."

The proposed Hours of Service regulations are under review by the White House regulatory oversight office. ABA met with office officials two weeks ago to urge them to block the proposal.

“The majority of ABA members utilize their own fleets of vehicles for the interstate distribution of baked goods to their customers,” MacKie states. “Clearly, the industry thinks of itself as bakers and not trucking companies. The driving is incidental to the true function of the route sales representative, which is sales and customer service. The wholesale baking industry makes its living on delivering the freshest possible product to grocery stores and food service providers. In addition to the well-being of the industry's operators and the general motoring public, the idea of a truck with the company name and product on its side involved in an accident is a huge incentive to operate in a safe manner.”

MacKie said that the ABA finds it difficult to understand the rationale for additional regulation, one that could disproportionately negatively impact the short-haul segment of the trucking industry of which the baking industry is a part.