FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marti Hogan, 202-220-3535
Audra Kruse, 202-220-3529
(Washington, D.C. – December 21, 2018) The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shared a joint petition from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the American Bakers Association (ABA) this week that calls for the exemption of dairy products and baked goods drivers from the administration’s hours-of-service requirements preceding natural disasters. The hours-of-service requirements limit how long truck drivers can be on the road at a time.
“We are pleased that FMCSA is seriously considering our petition,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA. “With revised requirements, more families will have access to fresh milk and dairy products, instead of an empty dairy aisle, as they make final preparations to get through a natural disaster.”
In the past years, the United States has seen widespread devastation—everywhere from the Florida Panhandle to Northern and Central California—at the hands of some of the most devastating hurricanes and wildfires in history. Providing flexibility to the hours-of-service requirements ahead of these foreseeable crises would ensure that families in the soon-to-be-impacted communities are able to get the nutritional staples they need.
The proposed exemption would apply during periods of disaster preparation and would go into effect an agreed-upon number of hours before an official state of emergency is declared. FMCSA is seeking public comment on this petition through Jan. 17, 2019.
According to Dykes, “In the time leading up to a natural disaster, there are many unanswerable questions to ask and many challenges to face, but being able to find an ample supply of nutritious food should not be one of them.”
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports nearly 3 million jobs that generate more than $161 billion in wages and has an overall economic impact of more than $628 billion. IDFA members range from multinational organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent approximately 90 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. The diverse membership includes numerous food retailers, suppliers, cooperatives and companies that offer a wide variety of nutritional dairy products and dairy-derived ingredients. Visit IDFA at www.idfa.org.