Thursday, 09 March 2017 19:29

The Checkout - March 9, 2017

SB 1260/HB 593- SNAP Choice Bill
A proposal for restrictions on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is making its way through the Florida Legislature. FRF/FGA Opposes this bill. The 2000 federal law ensured that EBT transactions operated the same from state to state. Consistency throughout the country is important to Retailers who implement this program. Having the consistency of a federal law reduces the opportunity for error and abuse. Individual state restrictions would cause confusion in bordering communities as well as at the checkout counter. There are more than 650,000 SKUs in the grocery store with 12,000-15,000 more introduced every year. These items would have to be analyzed and categorized to determine what's in and what's out of the SNAP program, putting government in charge of determining "good foods" and "bad foods."

Furthermore, this kind of control over what Floridians buy won't save the SNAP program any money. Instead, it will just bring more bureaucracy to the very program many seek to reform and create a food code more complicated and arbitrary than the tax code. Policymakers should consider that more than 70 percent of SNAP benefits go to families with children, and 1.7 million beneficiaries are veterans. And the truth of the matter is there is almost no difference between the food purchases of families receiving SNAP benefits and families who don’t. In addition a ban will likely increase the administrative costs of the program to both the USDA and retailers. *Click HERE for additional data and stats on Restricting SNAP.

ADA Compliance Review
Last year FGA held a very successful workshop on ADA compliance. We know that this is an issue that continues to plague many of your stores so we are making available once again the notes that were taken at the workshop with some common sense information to help protect your store. Following are some defense strategies to help protect your stores:

  • Fix then Fight
  • Get out of the lawsuit quickly
  • Immediate compliance of the items in the lawsuit
  • Minimize repair time
  • Re-inspect your store to ensure compliance
  • Moot the case – Show that you have fixed all the items
  • Get the case dismissed
  • Do not mediate without the claimant being present
  • Place a handicap sign at your front door that says: We are happy to provide assistance… this is just a first line of defense for your store

*Click HERE for workshop notes.

Calling all Baggers!
FGA is hosting the first ever Florida Best Bagger Competition on Sunday July 23rd, 2017 in Kissimmee Florida. All stores are encouraged to do their own in-store competition, or have your Managers pick their best bagger, and send them to compete in the Florida competition. First Prize winner will take home $1,000, 2nd prize winner $500 and 3rd prize winner will take home $250. The winner of the Florida competition will then be sent to represent the state of Florida in the National Championship taking place at the NGA Show in February of 2018 in San Diego CA. Please click for rules and entry form.

Associate Memeber Spotlight
Unata is a 1-to-1 digital platform for grocers, powering eCommerce, eCircular, eLoyalty, eCoupons, and the digital in-store experience. We connect and integrate all digital grocery solutions with a retailer's ERP/POS/loyalty systems to ensure one seamless, 1-to-1 personalized shopping experiences across all customer touch points, resulting in increased customer loyalty and spending.

E. Coli 0157 Outbreak Linked to Soy Nut Butter Products
E.coli 0157 outbreak linked to Soy Nut Butter products. I.M. Healthy Brand SoyNut Butter products, this product was distributed at retail and also to daycare centers. Please access the following links for complete information on this issue:

Thursday, 02 March 2017 15:21

The Checkout - March 2, 2017

Meat Grinding Logs Update
Over the last few months FGA has been informing you of this new record keeping rule and at last week’s FGA meeting a representative from the USDA provided an updated presentation on this rule. The rule states that official establishments and retail stores that grind raw beef products for sale in commerce must keep records that will fully and correctly disclose all transactions involved in their businesses that are subject to the FMIA. Records specifically required to be kept under 9 CFR 320.1(b) include, but are not limited to, bills of sale, invoices, bills of lading, and receiving and shipping papers. Businesses must also provide access to and permit inspection of these records by FSIS personnel (9 CFR 320.4). Mandatory Recordkeeping - Records to be Kept. In the case of raw ground beef products, official establishments and retail stores are required to keep records that fully disclose: The establishment numbers of the establishments supplying the materials used to prepare each lot of raw ground beef product. All supplier lot numbers and production dates. The names of the supplied materials, including beef components and any materials carried over from one production lot to the next. The date and time each lot of raw ground beef product is produced; and, The date and time when grinding equipment and other related food-contact surfaces are cleaned and sanitized.

Enforcement dates:
10/1/16 – 3/31/17 - OIEA Investigators will review grinding logs and educate retailers
After 4/1/17 - OIEA will re-evaluate enforcement next steps (e.g. Letter of Information, Notice of warning)
*Please click to view complete presentation*

Retailer of the Year Award
Nominations are being accepted now through Monday, March 20, for the FRF-sponsored Florida Retailer of the Year program. As the program helps highlight the many contributions ALL Florida retailers make to our state and their communities, please help support this program by nominating at least one Florida retailer for the 2017 award. You may nominate online through the FRF website. Eligible nominees for this year’s program include any retailer, including retail grocers, who operate or own a Florida business establishment whose annual sales volume is $5 million or less.

The 2017 Retailer of the Year will be honored during an awards luncheon to be held June 8 in St. Petersburg in conjunction with the University of Florida’s “Retail Smarter” conference. Thank you for your consideration and support. Please contact Brenda Grindstaff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or 850.322.7592 if you need further information.

FGA 2017 Meetings - Mark your calendars

  • Loss Prevention Conference – 7/21/2017
  • Sunshine EXPO & Gaylord Palms Resort, Orlando Workshops – topics TBD Saturday 7/22/2017
  • Sunshine EXPO – Best Bagger Competition – Sunday 7/23/2017 @ 1:00 pm
  • FRF & FGA Fall Meeting – 11/14/17 – 11/16/17 @ Trump International Beach Resort, Sunny Isles

CALL TO ACTION: Tell Congress You Support Debit Swipe Fee Reforms
House Financial Services Committee Chairman is planning to introduce and push legislation this month to repeal the 2010 debit swipe fee reforms. Please send a letter to your members of Congress to let them know you oppose Chairman Hensarling’s efforts to repeal the debit reforms. Debit reform did the following:

  • Provided oversight and allowed the Federal Reserve to place voluntary limits on how high debit fees could be set by banks over $10 billion.
  • Allowed competition and required at least two options for routing a transaction increasing “up time,” competition, and security.
  • Protects discounting for cash and other ways to show customers the costs of swipe fees.

Please use this link to send a letter to your members of Congress. If you have not logged in previously, the system will ask for your address in order to match you with your appropriate legislators. Thanks for your support!

DOJ Asks for More Time in Overtime Rule Case
The Department of Justice (DOJ) asked an appeals court for additional time to file a reply brief in the case that challenged the Department of Labor’s (DOL) overtime rule court case. An injunction was put into place in November that temporarily prevented the rule from going into effect. The DOJ requested an extension until May 1 in order to allow the incoming administration adequate time to review the rule. The DOJ is not expected to defend the rule in court, allowing the injunction to become permanent and preventing the rule from going into effect without being reformulated. Courtesy of our Partners at NGA

FMI is currently accepting nominations for their annual Store Manager Awards program
We wanted to inform you about it – AND to encourage you to promote it among your stores, so that they can act on this great opportunity

The FMI Store Manager Awards program recognizes exceptional store managers who excel in business and customer service and are an integral part of the communities they serve. Store managers’ supervisors/corporate leaders are invited to send in stories that demonstrate how the store manager has gone above and beyond the ordinary to create store growth and customer satisfaction over the past year. Please visit the website for full details on entering the awards program.

This is a great chance for stellar store managers in your state to be recognized and honored. Twelve finalists will be named and will receive free registration for Future Leaders eXperience, where the winners will be named. Please share this email with the appropriate colleagues and encourage the supervisors of your best store managers to nominate them. For more information, feel free to contact Jordan Pietrak at (202) 220-0713 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

All entries must be submitted by March 6, 2017.

Thursday, 16 February 2017 19:44

The Checkout - February 16, 2017

Did you know...
In 2010, FRF helped pass legislation to help retailers and grocers when confronted with a slip & fall lawsuit. This bill shifted the burden of proof to the plaintiff, who now must prove that a store had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition that caused the plaintiff to fall and should have taken action to correct that dangerous condition. Please CLICK HERE to view the bill, which was passed in 2010.

Legislative Update
2017 FGA Bills of Interest
HB 63 by Rep Edwards - Tax Exemption for Feminine Hygiene Products
HB 93 by Rep Richardson - Disposable Plastic Bags
SB 106 by Sen Flores - Vendors Licensed Under the Beverage Law
SB 162 by Sen Rodriguez - Disposable Plastic Bags
SB 166 by Steube - Alcoholic Beverages
SB 176 by Sen Passidomo - Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Feminine Hygiene Products
SB 252 by Sen Book - Tax Exemption for Personal Hygiene Products
SB 388 by Sen Hudson - Beverage Law
SB 400 by Sen Grimsley - Alcoholic Beverages
SB 554 by Sen Young - Craft Breweries
HB 593 by Rep Massullo - Restrictions of Use of Public Assistance Benefits
HB 649 by Rep Russell - Cigarette Surcharge & Tax
HB 679 by Rep Clemons (C) - Craft Breweries
HB 689 by Rep Burton - Department of Business and Professional Regulations

Florida’s Best Bagger Competition Set for July 23rd, 2017 as Part of the Sunshine EXPO!
The NGA Best Bagger Competition took place this past Monday – February 13th and Ohio’s best bagger took home the grand prize of $10,000. FGA is working hard so that next year Florida can be well represented at this annual show, but we cannot do it without your help. We need all our retail members and wholesalers to do your part and spread the word. Please click for all the competition rules & regulations and the entry form.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. We look forward to your participation in sending your best baggers!

Quirch Foods Celebrates 50 Years
Quirch Foods, founded in 1967 by the Quirch Family, is a food distribution company servicing large and independent retailers across the United States, the Caribbean, Central and South America. With over 8,000 SKUs, Quirch has one of the most extensive portfolios of national brands for a distributor of its type and size. Consistently ranked among the top exporters and top Hispanic companies in the US, by Hispanic Business Magazine, the company operates five distribution facilities with a combined 700,000 square feet of refrigerated warehouse space and a fleet of more than 120 refrigerated trucks servicing its customers. Quirch Foods® is the exclusive distributor of Chiquita® Brands frozen Tropicals and Fruits, Panamei® Seafood and Kikiriquirch® poultry lines. For more information, visit or call (800)-458-5252.

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