Government Relations

The Government Relations Committee of the NAC Board of Directors identifies legislative and regulatory issues of interest to NAC members and those in the recreation and leisure-time food and beverage industry.

Committee Members:

Donald Lear, The Hershey Company
Robert Perkins III, Act V Theatres
Denise De Zutter, AMC Theatres
Daniel Borschke, NAC
Jon Muscalo, Legends Hospitality
Teke Sankey, Vistar
Rob Warnes, Showbiz Cinemas

Government Relations Panel

The 2014 NAC Concession & Hospitality Expo featured a Government Relations Panel. Don Lear of The Hershey Company and Chair of the NAC Government Relations Committee moderated a panel of experts to discuss the legislative and regulatory picture that continues to change for the food, beverage and entertainment communities. You can download their presentation by clicking on their name:

Belinda Judson – NATO
Russell A. Hollrah, Esq. – Hollrah LLC
Scarlett Foster Moss – Coca-Cola North America

Current Issues of Interest:

This page lists current issues in the federal or state legislature, along with ways to impact legislation. Action alerts on important pending legislative issues are emailed to the NAC membership for their use. NAC members are encouraged to inform the NAC office of potential or pending legislation of interest to the foodservice industry.

CLICK HERE FOR RECENT NEWS STORIES ON THESE ISSUES

-Sugary Beverage Bans
-Sugar Taxes
-Caffeinated Drinks
-GMO
-Nutrition Labeling
-Credit Card Swipe Fees
-Front of Package
-Diacetyl
-Farm Bill
-ACA – Affordable Care Act

Here is a sample letter, used by our members to send to their legislators regarding the proposed New York City Large Beverage Ban. Member either used this letter or some of the contents to draft their own.

You can find the legislators that represent your area by clicking here.

June 1, 2012

There is currently a proposal in New York City to ban sugary beverages in containers larger than 16 oz. in restaurants, movie theatres, ball parks and food carts. In a coordinated effort, NAC is working alongside other industry associations in countering the messages being made by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the NYC Health Department.

NAC’s statement on the issue is below, as well as phone numbers and e-mail addresses for you to show your displeasure with such city action.

National Association of Concessionaires Statement on the proposed NYC ban on Sweetened Beverages

In the late 1800’s, Marshall Field coined the phrase that retailers and food service companies abide by to this day: “The Customer Is Always Right.” The National Association of Concessionaires (NAC), it’s members and the concession industry believes that choice is an important element of American commerce and the proposed policy in New York City banning sweetened beverages in larger than 16 oz. packages is arbitrary, capricious and ill-conceived.

The concession industry is an important part of the entertainment and recreation industry. Unfortunately individuals do not partake in movies, sporting events and other “special occasion” activities on a weekly or even monthly basis. These special occasions are family-oriented and are opportunities to celebrate, share and enjoy. Food and beverages are shared on these occasions and large packages of food and beverages are an economical means to that end.

Though Mayor Bloomberg’s intentions are admirable, consumers are already moving away from sugary drinks toward low calorie options, no calorie options and bottled water. Since 1998, the average calories per serving from beverages are down 23 percent while CDC data reports since 2000, that added sugars consumed from soda is down 39 percent.

The concession industry does acknowledge that there is an obesity problem in the United States and that is why choice is such an important element to our business. A variety of new low-calorie, low-fat, sugar-free items are available and will remain on concession stand shelves as long as the consumer continues to purchase them. Matter of fact, the consumer has the ultimate option of not purchasing anything, if they so desire.

Mayor Bloomberg stated on the June 1st Today show that “If the glass in front of you is smaller, you’ll drink less.” Unless the New York City ban also includes the elimination of the option of buying multiple orders of 16 oz. beverages or self-service, the NYC ban has unknowingly raised the price to satiate one’s thirst after a vigorous exercise regimen. We would encourage New York City to join the bandwagon promoting exercise and involvement in sports to burn calories rather than limit choice of beverage intake. All legitimate weight loss programs professed by the health and nutrition community include not just calorie intake but also exercise; and frankly that is what is missing in any municipal ban or regulation.

NAC is part of this coalition: coalition4sensiblenyc.com.

NAC encourages members and consumers alike to have their opinions heard:

Email Mayor Bloomberg: http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html
Mayor’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/mikebloomberg
Mayor’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mikebloomberg
Email Health Department Commissioner Thomas Farley: http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/maildoh.html
Call Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Farley: 212 639 9675

July 31,2014

NAC issued the following statement on Resolution #1096-2014 (a Local Law to establish healthy food standards at Suffolk County facilities).

(CHICAGO) July 31, 2014 -National Association of Concessionaires (NAC) though lauding the Suffolk County, New York Legislature on their well-intended approach to, “Adopt a leadership role in promoting good health and fighting obesity,” finds such an Orwellian mandate as Resolution #1096-2014 (a Local Law to establish healthy food standards at Suffolk County facilities) as, “Ill-conceived and destined for failure,” stated Daniel C. Borschke, FASAE, CAE, Executive Vice President of NAC.

The legislation, adopted on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 which exempts correctional facilities, a minor league baseball stadium, a museum and the community college mandates concessionaires shall offer four (4) daily fresh fruit or vegetable choices with a minimum of one daily leafy-green salad and one vinegar-based dressing; attempt to offer salads, sandwiches and entrees that have no more than 700 calories with 25% of offerings having 550 calories or less, containing no more than 800 mg of sodium and made of whole grains while also offering at least one steamed, baked or grilled vegetable option daily and half of all soup offerings shall contain no more than 480 mg of sodium per 8 oz. serving.

Though NAC does recognize the societal epidemic among children and adults in regards to obesity, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes it would be more effective if municipalities would partner with those who relate and service customers on a daily basis on their food choices rather than mandating, “From the mount,” edicts which have proven in the past inequitable and poorly conceived as was the case in New York City and their soda cup effort.

“Choice and meeting customer needs and desires are the backbone of the US marketplace and it has been proven time and time again that industry will provide their customers what they demand. The landscape is splattered with failed enterprises that attempted to force their food and beverage desires on a less than responsive customer-base,” Borschke continues.

“NAC would welcome the opportunity to work with Suffolk County to tackle mutual dietary issues during their implementation and enforcement of the new law, cognizant of the fact that mandates can sometimes produce unanticipated results such as less interest in concession contracts, unemployed food service workers, food waste and budget deficits due to a lack of participation in county food offerings,” Borschke concluded.

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