President’s Letter

It’s Time to Speak Up

Unless you are living in a cave deep in a mountain some place, you know full well that American is in the middle of one of the most heated political campaigns in recent history.
Regardless of the outcome of the presidential primaries and the nominating conventions, one thing is very clear: the differences between the two presidential candidates will be remarkable, indeed.
Obviously, the outcome of that election will be very important as we look to the years ahead and consider the policies that will be in play. At stake is the direction our country will take on economic and tax policy, agriculture policy, health and nutrition, transportation regulation, food safety and much, much more.
But Snack Food Association members should keep in mind that there also is a congressional election coming up in November, the results of which will be every bit as important as the battle for the White House.
Every seat of the 435-member House of Representatives will be up for grabs, as well as one-third of the Senate. Currently, Democrats hold relatively slim margins in each, making it possible for President Bush to make his vetoes stick. However, signs seem to be pointing to significant change in the Congress and possibly additional Democratic gains.
Against that backdrop – in the heat of this political season—will be the SFA’s Day in D.C. Spring Summit, to be held May 13-15 in Washington, D.C.  As you will see, there are some extremely important issues to be addressed at the conference, and we need the help of every SFA member who can come to Washington for that event.
Keep in mind that it is entirely possible that we will be confronted with a less friendly Congress next year, and it may well be even more difficult to achieve our legislative and regulatory goals. That simply is the reality that we face.
So, it is essential that we continue to work with this Congress, with those representatives and senators who are our friends, and that we work to develop new friends, as well.
Certainly, this Congress will be making important decisions this year. But there also are efforts to prepare the way for actions to be taken by the new Congress. The Child Nutrition Act, which will be reauthorized next year, is a good example. It is important that SFA members make their voices heard this year as those early decisions are made.
Therefore, I strongly encourage every SFA member company executive to attend this year’s summit and participate in our meetings on Capitol Hill. It is an important time for the SFA to speak up and be involved.
Jim McCarthy
President & CEO