My fellow association members,    It is amazing how fast a year can zip past. It is hard for me to believe my time to serve as your Chairman of the Board has expired. It has been a privilege to serve in this position, and I thank you for the opportunity.
Also, my thanks go to the wonderful staff we have and to the other members of the board and various committees that make this organization so vital. Special thanks go to SFA President Jim McCarthy, Past Chairman David Ray, Incoming Chairman Bob Shearer and Daryl Thomas, who has worked tirelessly on SNAXPO.
Because of these people and many more, much has been accomplished, and that’s why the year passed so quickly. Continuity of effort and focus is key to the SFA’s success and many of the things that came to fruition this year were started in past years. My thanks go to all who have contributed over the years.
When I received the gavel from David Ray, I said that my own motto for the year was, “The SFA — Now More Than Ever.” That has proven true as our industry continues to be under attack from various fronts. The association’s response has been on many fronts and has met with considerable success. But as you know, the battle continues and is intensifying.
It is in the best interests of your business that you continue to support SFA and that you participate in its activities.
Let’s just recap some of the issues SFA has been processing on your behalf:
• Transportation Hours of Service
• Attempts to grant federal authority to regulate food sales on school campuses
• Attempts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to revisit the notion of, “Foods of minimal nutritional value”
• Identification of particular food categories with the trans fat issue
• Attempts to add snack taxes.
• Creation of SFA’s “Snack Fit, Choose Balance” brochure and program
• Development of the acrylamide science in a responsible way
• The effort to get peanuts exempted from the Country of Origin Labeling process
• Other issues such as the Bioterrorism Act implementation, National Uniformity for Food Labeling, allergen labeling and lawsuit abuse
In addition, major improvements in the fiscal management of SFA have been implemented to provide more cost-effective administration and better control of the association’s resources. The headquarters building has been sold so that the asset that it represented could become an income-producing asset.
We have partnered with the American Wholesale Marketers Association to co-sponsor the REAL DEAL EXPO in February to market our products to distributors and retail buyers of warehouse-distributed products. We have formed an alliance with Canacintra Botanas, our sister organization in Mexico, to make it easier to work throughout North America. Lastly, we have added a new service for our members, the FoodFleetXchange, to provide savings on transportation related products and services.
So the next time you hear someone ask what SFA is doing for them, the answer is that SFA does a huge amount to protect and further your business. Without it, we would all fall prey to the people and organizations that want to harm the snack business.
Thanks again for the opportunity to serve and I urge you to get personally involved and to get your employees involved. It is an excellent investment in the future.
Nick R. Chilton
Chairman of the Board