Specialty Food Magazine

Summer 2020

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1256204

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Page 35 of 91

mitigates our risk and allows us to maintain our fiscal health," said Kafarakis. Additional cost savings measures have also been implemented. SFA has, for instance, put recruiting efforts for 10 new positions on hold; eliminated temps and contractors where feasible; and reduced budgeted operating expenses, revenue-based bonus expenses, and its discretionary 401(k) contribution. In addition, members of its executive team will take a pay cut and board of director fees have been reduced. "After taking these steps, we wanted to wait as long as possible before making some painful decisions around choosing between potential staff reductions and/or a furlough plan. Both were being considered," Kafarakis said. While it was a last resort, the SFA, which is not eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program, placed about 30 percent of its employees on a 90-day work furlough in early May. "We're going to offer as much support as we can during the furlough by covering medical, dental, and vision insurance and the hope is that 90 days later, we'll get these folks back," said Lisa Gauchey, SFA vice president of human resources. —Julie Gallagher Specialty Food Foundation Plans to Restart Programs, Appoints Board The Specialty Food Foundation has adopted new bylaws and appointed a new board of directors in an effort to restart programs to alleviate food waste and encourage food recovery. Established in Washington, DC in 2014 as a 501 (c)(3) charity, the Foundation has limited its activity in the past three years to managing food recovery at the Fancy Food Shows and sponsoring Embrace Hunger Relief Month to encourage those in the specialty food industry to give back. The new Foundation board members are: • Nora Weiser, former executive director of American Cheese Society, chair • Matt Nielsen, Nielsen-Massey Vanilla, treasurer • Jill Giacomini Basch, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese • Susan Eriksen, Char Crust • David Gremmels, Rogue Creamery • Nona Lim, Nona Lim • Lisa Raiola, Hope & Main • Todd Rubin, The Republic of Tea • Jim Thaller, Talier Trading Group, Inc. "We are excited about redefining the Vision and Mission of the Foundation," said Ron Tanner, SFA vice president of education, government & industry relations, "People in the specialty food industry are passionate and generous and we want to harness that energy to do good for others." its activities, but, according to Lynch, even as it was transitioning into a hospital, it wasn't given any indication by city, state, and federal agencies, about how long it would be occupied in that capacity. "We were getting to the point where our community was starting to ask if the show was happening or not and we couldn't give them a decisive answer," said Lynch. "We found that other food-related shows were informing their communities about cancellations without ample time for them to change plans and save them from losing their investments. We wanted to handle things much differently, so we set a 12-weeks- out target to get an answer out to our community." As that deadline approached, Javits' leadership explored the possibility of moving events to the back half of the year but maintained that it could not release the SFA from its show contract. "We found that for a show our size that occupies the entire center for almost 10 days, it'd be almost impossible to move it to another date," said Lynch. "Javits was great in trying to maneuver customers to accommodate us but at the end of the day we didn't feel it would be right for our members." The SFA explored the financial implications of the show's cancellation, including excusing its contractual show obligations due to a force majeure clause, but was told it couldn't be excused from its liability since there was no government order in place, explained Kafarakis. At the same time, the SFA sought assurances from its insurance provider that its coverage would be honored in the event the show was canceled. SFA continues to work collaboratively with the insurance company on the claim. "We were really working to protect the solvency of the Association," Kafarakis said. Maintaining Fiscal Health The SFA's financial reserves are strong after a 10-year bull market, but it wouldn't be prudent to rely solely on those funds to refund exhibitors, given the rocky economic climate, said Irene Math, SFA treasurer and senior vice president of finance & strategy. Boding in the Association's favor is the fact that "we have event cancellation insurance and an infectious disease rider on top of that," which is somewhat rare, Math said. SFA took steps with its financial advisors from Raymond James to help balance a need for cash and prudence with the reserve given that it anticipates the insurance claims process will take months. "This SUMMER

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