World Grain - December 2020 - 32
FEATURE: NEW NAMA PRESIDENT SEES CHALLENGES, OPPORTUNITIES
associated with the consumption of certain foods and
said the FDA intends to strengthen procedures and protocols for conducting the root cause analyses that may
identify how a food became contaminated and inform
understanding of how to prevent such contamination
from happening again.
,Q UHFHQW \HDUV ÀRXU KDV EHHQ WKH VXEMHFW RI SURGuct recalls with a small number associated with foodborne illnesses.
" The feedback we're getting from FDA is milled
grains are on their radar, " DeMarchi said. " That's
something that we have to be mindful of as we go forward into the future as well. "
DeMarchi said the future course of the FDA also
LV QRW OLNHO\ WR EH GUDPDWLFDOO\ D൵HFWHG E\ WKH HOHFtion outcome.
" FDA hasn't changed that much under this administration, " she said. " It's one where there's been a carrythrough. That's why we don't expect FDA to change
that much even if there is a Biden administration. "
or the direction taken by the FDA, the election will,
of course, be highly consequential for NAMA and its
members, DeMarchi said.
" The election is right around the corner and so for us
what that means is that 2021 is going to be an important year for NAMA members to come to DC to lobby
members of Congress and to meet the administration
election there will be new faces in the administration.
So typically, we have our policy conference in May
in Washington. "
DeMarchi's lifelong connections to grain-based foods
In hiring Jane DeMarchi as president of the North American
Millers' Association, the milling industry has gained a leader
with previous experience at NAMA and with deep, multigenerational roots in the grain-based foods industry.
A 1990 graduate of Dartmouth College, Hanover, New
Hampshire, US, DeMarchi's first job in Washington was as
From left, Dick
her siblings Anne
Blum and Peter
Blum, and Jane
Blum is the retired
owner of Blossom
director of government relations with NAMA from 2004 to
2010. She held a similar position at the National Association of Wheat Growers from 2010 to 2013 before being
named vice president of government and regulatory affairs
of the American Seed Trade Association, where she remained until returning to NAMA as president in September.
DeMarchi's memories of the grain-based foods industry
far pre-date her work with NAMA. Her father Dick Blum
for many years led Blossom Industries, a Cleveland, Ohio,
US-based business that provided engineering and equipment to large production bakeries as well as in-store supermarket bakeries.
" When we were kids my dad used to take us on sales
calls on our way to family ski trips, " she said. " There was a
bakery in New York - Kaufman's Bakery - that baked rye
bread, and when we were little kids we were allowed to go
into the production area and take the hot bread off of the
conveyor belt and eat it. I mean you can't imagine that this
could happen today - I don't even think we'd be allowed
in the building. "
DeMarchi's great-grandfather, Saul Blum, was a flour broker early in the 20th century.
" When I started at NAMA back in 2004, I really did not
know what to expect, " she said. " It was my first job in DC,
but I had some family background, and I was already passionate about the industry. "
The areas of focus at NAWG and ASTA also gave DeMarchi experience she is confident will be helpful as NAMA explores new priority areas.
" Working at two other associations really provided me
some additional perspective on the industry but also insights
into how to run an association and how to operate in Washington, " she said. " So I think it's a good time for me to be
coming back to NAMA after I had those experiences.
" ASTA was very focused on innovation. So I've kept up
with what has been happening in the corn and wheat areas
in terms of the innovation at the seed level. I believe that
will help us as we look at supply-chain issues moving forward into the future and with innovations that are coming in
wheat in particular. "
She cited as an example an initiative by Grain Craft aimed
at increasing wheat acreage planted to varieties preferred for
their milling and baking qualities.
" That's exactly what we want to encourage in the industry
as much as we possibly can, " she said. " There are issues with
competition, so you have to be careful as a trade association
when to get involved, but any time we can bring more collaboration along the value chain, the better. "
December 2020 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com
World Grain - December 2020
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