The annual Cold Chain Policy Forum, hosted by the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), had to go virtual this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic but that did not stop the important event from shattering attendance records.
Nearly 200 registrants, double 2019 attendance, “gathered online” July 28 and 29 to get the latest U.S. regulatory rulemaking highlights for businesses engaged in temperature-controlled logistics.
Regulatory agencies represented at the Cold Chain Policy Forum included the USDA, OSHA, FDA EPA. Well-respected law firms, such as Jackson Lewis and Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary were also represented at the policy event.
“I am excited by the record-breaking turnout for the 2020 Cold Chain Policy Forum. This tremendous level of engagement is critical to our continued success in building relationships with agency partners and achieving positive change for policies impacting our industry,” said Lowell Randel, Senior Vice President of Government and Legal Affairs at GCCA.
GCCA Working with Regulatory Agencies on Evolving Policies
One of the themes of this year’s event was the importance of industry engagement in working with regulatory agencies on evolving policies.
GCCA says its efforts have resulted in improvement on the regulatory front such as improvements the Food Safety Inspection Service will implement in its Public Health Information System starting in August.
Another hot topic at this year’s forum was the EPA’s Risk Management Program. GCCA was active during the Risk Management Program’s multi-year, rulemaking process which ended in December 2019 with a Final Rule issuance that, according to a GCCA release, “reduces the regulatory burden on facilities while maintaining safety.”
Current World Food Logistics Organization Chairman Brian Beazer was part of the EPA’s small business review panel during the Risk Management Program rulemaking.
GCCA says that industry-raised concerns that make it into the Final Rule include “rescinding third-party audit provisions, root cause analysis, and safety technology analysis.”
Presentations Ranged from Food Safety to Enforcement Trends
The 2020 Cold Chain Policy Forum included a variety of presenters breaking down important topics. Presentations included:
- “Policies and Procedures for Meat and Poultry Export” presented by USDA Food Safety Inspection Service
- “Food Safety Modernization Act: Enforcement and Implementation Update” presented by the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
- “RMP Reconsideration Rule and National Enforcement Initiative Update” presented by the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
- “OSHA Enforcement Trends and Policy” presented by OSHA’s Office of Chemical Process Safety and Enforcement Initiatives
- “Labor and Employment Policy in the Pandemic” presented by the law firm of Jackson Lewis
- “Emerging Issues in Transportation Policy and Law” presented by the law firm of Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary
GCCA President & CEO Matthew Ott said during the event, “Advocacy initiatives are one of the four pillars of our strategic plan. With our advocacy efforts, we strive to proactively influence rules and regulations, lead the dialogue on issues impacting the cold chain, and mitigate the impact of regulations on industry while achieving public policy objectives. Today’s Forum shows the positive result of these efforts.”
The GCCA represents all major industries engaged in temperature-controlled logistics with its core partners including the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, the World Food Logistics Organization, the International Refrigerated Transportation Association, and the Controlled Environment Building Association.
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