June 8, 2020

Description: In episode sixteen of Food for Talk, host Howard Dorman, Mazars Food and Beverage Practice Leader, sits down with the Food Industry Alliance of New York President and CEO, Michael Durant. In this episode we learn that even with years of experience in public policy and politics, nothing could have prepared lawmakers and decision makers for the impact that COVID-19 has had on the grocery industry as well as how the aftermath will continue to impact grocers long after the virus has passed. Michael and Howard also discuss what steps the the industry can take in order to proactively prepare for these new challenges.

FIA Event: Jack Duffy Golf Event, moved to October 19, 2020

Unfortunately, while New York has begun to slowly and regionally reopen, holding our annual Jack Duffy Classic Golf Tournament at the end of June needs to be delayed.  We have talked with the venue numerous times in the past few months and late last week made the decision to formally move the event to October 19th.  

While it is impossible to predict the paths we are on with the pandemic, FIA is committed to holding our events while following the latest state and federal guidelines.

Additionally, FIA is working on holding virtual events through the Fall with essential programming and networking opportunities.  Stay tuned!

REOPENING

For information and guidance on reopening


PLASTIC BAG BAN

  • Enforcement Date of the plastic bag ban has been extended to July 15th 2020, earliest. The ban was delayed on multiple occasions throughout COVID. Most recently it was delayed until June 15th with the caveat that on or after that date at least 30 day notice would be given to retailers before the ban would be enforced. This means the earliest date possible is July 15th. 
  • Paper Carryout Bag Reduction Fee - While the plastic bag ban has not been enforced since its effective date of March 1st, the fee on paper bags has always remained.  On March 1st New York City, Tompkins County and Suffolk County have had the fee on paper bags. It has been announced that the City of Troy and the City of White Plains have determined to enact that fee on paper bags beginning on June 1st.


SUSPENSION OF CERTAIN REGS DURING COVID19

  • Bottle Redemption: 

    New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that they expect all facilities across New York to “take the necessary steps to resume redemption responsibilities and be in compliance no later than June 3rd”. This has been updated on their website.

  • Temporary packaging and labeling requirements for shell eggs: This interim guidance provides temporary flexibility regarding certain packaging and labeling requirements for shell eggs sold in retail food establishments, allowing the industry to meet the increased demand for shell eggs during the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

  • 20-C Food Safety Licenses – FIA has worked with State Ag and Markets to get extensions to those that have expiring licenses.  The Department has announced this morning that a 45 Day Extension for 20-C licenses that expire between April 16th and May 31st.  At the end of the 45-day period, a completed 20-C food processing license and the full applicable fees must be received by the Department.  

  • Labeling of bottle/bulk water products: Paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 5-6.12 of Title 10 of the NYCRR, governing bottled or bulk water products sold or distributed in New York, to allow bottled and bulk water product facilities currently certified in in New York to temporarily, if their stock of regularly used labels has been depleted, distribute bottled or bulk water products without an assigned New York State Department of Health certificate number shown on the product label and use labels authorized in any other state. Once labels showing the assigned certificate number have been obtained, their use must be resumed;

  • NYC: The Department of Consumer Affairs is extending certain license expiration dates and renewal application deadlines.  Stoop line stands with a current license expiration date of March 31, 2020 will have a new license expiration date of June 30, 2020 and a new renewal application deadline of August 28, 2020. For more information about licenses and license renewals during the pandemic click the link above.

  • The New York Lottery is working with retailers statewide that are affected by the COVID-19 public health challenge.  If a licensed retailer decides to temporarily close from COVID-19 outcomes or has been required to close:
  • The retailer is to contact any New York Lottery regional office and request a temporary pin-off and specify that COVID-19 is the cause.
  • The Lottery will deactivate retailer equipment (“pinned-off”).  The retailer is not allowed to sell instant tickets while pinned-off.
  • The Lottery equipment stays in place.
  • The retailer is to secure current inventory against theft.  Retailer is responsible for all instant tickets, so it is very important to secure all instant ticket inventory.
 


COVID RELATED LAWS/FIA POSITIONS

Liability: Please see letter uploaded (in the documents section below) a letter signed by 19 business organizations that has been sent to lawmakers, members of the Cuomo Administration and members of the NY Forward Advisory Committee.

New York City COVID-19 Relief Package - Premiums for essential workers Legislation was introduced at a  City Council meeting that would require large employers to pay premiums to certain essential non-salaried workers: Employers with more than 100 employees would pay hourly workers $30 for a shift under four hours, $60 for a shift of four to eight hours and $75 dollars for any shift over eight hours. The obligation reportedly would end when the state of emergency is lifted. Food Industry Alliance of New York State is part of the businesses coalition that is mobilizing to oppose the legislation. 

Public Service Messaging: FIANY circulated a memo to legislators and the media, requesting that New York’s leaders issue public service messaging on the importance, and obligation for social distancing in stores. The memo can be found on our website. Thus far a number of state legislators have shared the memo with their networks.

Paid Sick Leave- a law specific to COVID and precautionary/mandatory quarantines was passed in NY.


 

EXECUTIVE ORDERS

 The full list of executive orders to date can be found here

  • Executive Order 202.34became effective May 28th through June 27th (though always subject to an extension) The two provisions specific to mask are as follows:
    • Executive Order 202.17 contained a directive that required any individual over age 2, and able to medically tolerate a face-covering, to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place.  Now, pursuant to Executive Order 202.34, business operators and building owners, and those authorized on their behalf, shall have the discretion to ensure compliance with mask directive of Executive Order 202.17, including the discretion to deny admittance to individuals who fail to comply with the directive in Executive Order 202.17 or to require or compel their removal if they fail to adhere to such directive.

    • The building owner or business operator shall not be subject to a claim of violation of the covenant of quiet enjoyment, or frustration of purpose, solely due to their enforcement of the Executive Order 202.17 mask directive. Nothing in Executive Order 202.34 prohibits or limits the right of New York State and local enforcement authorities from imposing fines or other penalties for any violation of the directive in Executive Order 202.17.  Executive Order 202.34 shall be applied in a manner consistent with the American with Disabilities Act or any provision of either New York State or New York City Human Rights Law, or any other provision of law.


  • Executive Order 202.33: Cuomo signed an executive order allowing gatherings of 10 people or less.  


  • Executive Order 202.31: officially opened the regions for Phase 1


  • Executive Order 202.29: does not issue any new directives.  This Executive Order, however, continues the suspensions and modifications of law, and any directives, not superseded by a subsequent directive, made by Executive Orders 202.15, 202.16, 202.17, 202.18, 202.19, 202.20, and 202.21, for thirty days until June 7, 2020.   Among some of those provisions are:

    • Permitting manufacturers, repackers, or wholesalers of prescription drugs or devices, physically located outside of New York and not registered in New York, but licensed and/or registered in any other state, to deliver into New York, prescription drugs or devices.  Executive Order 202.15;


    • Requiring employees who are present in an essential businesses’ workplace to wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public and that employers must provide, at their own cost and expense, the face coverings for their employees.  Executive Order 202.16


    • Requiring an individual to cover his or her nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance.  Executive Order 202.17


  • Executive Order 202.24: Expanded Role for Pharmacies
    • Authorizes licensed pharmacists to order COVID-19 tests, approved by the FDA, to detect SARS-CoV-2 or its antibodies, and to administer COVID-19 tests subject to certificate of waiver requirements pursuant to the Federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act of 1988, in patients suspected of a COVID-19 infection, or suspected of having recovered from COVID-19 infection, subject to completion of appropriate training developed by the State Health Department.
    • Permits licensed pharmacists to be designated as a qualified healthcare professional for the purpose of directing a limited service laboratory, pursuant to subdivision 579(3) of the New York State Public Health Law, to test patients suspected of a COVID-19 infection or its antibodies provided that such test is FDA-approved and waived for use in a limited service laboratory. 

  • NYS has released interim guidance regarding public face covering requirements.  Interim Guidance on Executive Orders 202.17 and 202.18 Requiring Face Coverings in Public During the COVID-19 Outbreak, April 17, 2020. 

     

  • Executive Order 202.16: As it relates to masks, that language is specifically this:  For all essential businesses or entities, any employees who are present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings for their employees. This provision may be enforced by local governments or local law enforcement as if it were an order pursuant to section 12 or 12-b of the Public Health Law.  


  • Executive Order 202.14: The order allows for a fine of up to $1000 for violations of social distancing restrictions as ordered by the Governor. 


  • Executive Order 202.8  This is the exec order from 3/20 which announced the reduction of the workforce by 100% for nonessential businesses. This closing takes effect at 8pm on 3/22, and there is no date that it will be lifted at this time.  


  • Executive Order 202.5  Per the Governor’s executive order 3/18- Mandatory statewide, all businesses must adhere to no more than 50% workforce on premises. The Executive Order will exempt essential services, grocery, food, pharmacies, healthcare, shipping, supplies, etc.



Documents

SNAP Emergency SNAP Allotment
(Microsoft Word Document)
Paid Sick Proposal Breakdown
(Adobe PDF File)

FIA serving NY Grocery Industry for 120 Years!

  • FIA's Mission Statement:
    To serve as the networking catalyst for FIA’s retail, wholesale and supplier members to conduct business more effectively and efficiently.

    Annual Membership Includes:
  • Government Liaison;
  • Three “complimentary” Regional Trade Reception Events around New York state, in Rochester, Metro area and Albany;
  • Participation in FIA's Annual Trade Summit;
  • Guaranteed Appointments with Retailers;
  • FoodScan- FIA's Weekly Newsletter

HELPFUL RESOURCES

New York State Department of Health website dedicated to COVID-19

New York City Covid-19

NYS Price Gouging Law

Guidance document from State Department of Agriculture and Markets specific
for food manufacturing and food retail with regards to cleanliness/food safety.

FMI Coronavius Resource/Information Page 

Commerical vehicles Federal Declaration

US FDA Covid-19 FAQ’s

US CDC Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations

OSHA Workplace Guidance

COVID19 Paid Sick Leave Proposal

Refund / Raincheck Policy and Regulations

USDA - Supply chain issues

FMI Crisis Management

NYS Executive Orders

FDA Guidance on food safety and workplace protocol

NYS Department of Tax and Finance guidance on remitting sales taxes

NY Bottle Redemption Guidance Guidance and SWANA.org

U.S. Dept. of Labor Guidance Explaining Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family
and Medical Leave Under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act 

Fact Sheet for Employees 

Fact Sheet for Employers 

FAQs 

CDC guidance on COVID19 Risk Assessment/Management

NYC Suppliers and manufacturers of facemasks

Small Business Paycheck Protection Program 

Governor’s COVID Testing Interactive Website

NYS guidance for how to deliver groceries in a sanitary manner

NY Lottery Info

FMCSA Extended Emergency Declaration

 NY Ag and Markets guidance for retail food stores –
recommendations for social distancing in stores
 

Executive Order 202.15

NYC License and License Renewal info

20-C Food Safety License extension guidance

Plastic Bag Ban Delay

NYSDOH website testing protocol

Egg labeling interim guidance

Governor’s guide to reopening NY

Regional Monitoring Dashboard

Reopening safety plan template

NY Forward website

NYC Grocery Resources Page