Grocery retailers and their supplier partners from throughout California gathered in Sacramento on Tuesday, March 29, to share business concerns with their state representatives on key issues facing the grocery industry.
The face-to-face meetings with the majority of state legislators highlighted the 2016 CGA Grocers Day at the Capitol, the Association’s one-day member advocacy event in the State’s Capitol.
“This was a critical year for our members to participate in CGA’s premier member lobbying activity,” said CGA President Ron Fong. “Our members really stepped up and did a tremendous job of sharing our story and providing valuable insight into how our businesses operate.”
In addition to the face-to-face meetings, attendees heard from Gov. Jerry Brown who addressed a number of topics during his 30-minute presentation including the deal he closed with labor leaders over Easter weekend to introduce legislation that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15.
The governor said the deal needed to be struck as an alternative to a minimum wage proposition that may appear on the November ballot that would be even more burdensome on California’s business community then his proposal.
The governor’s remarks were met with skepticism by the Association which later released a statement chiding the governor for not including the business community in its meeting with labor.
“While there may very well be a need to look at adjusting the minimum wage in California and working on the complex issues of income inequality and poverty, our members are disappointed in the way this measure was crafted in a backroom deal and passed by the Legislature, without their input, in less than a week,” Fong said in a statement on Thursday. “It seems irresponsible to mandate increases in wages without any consultation from the very businesses who will be forced to pay them.”
Attendees were also briefed by CGA staff on the key issues they would be discussing with legislators during their visits. These topics included employee scheduling, wine coupons, food bank donation tax credits and the state’s beleaguered beverage container recycling program.
Following an afternoon of legislative visits, CGA hosted its annual President’s Reception that allowed Grocers Day attendees to meet again with state legislators and staff but in a more relaxed environment.
CGA also hosted its popular Ice Cream Social, located this year inside the State Capitol and was sponsored by Clover Stornetta Farms which provided the ice cream and toppings.
The Association wishes to thank all sponsoring companies for their generous support of this year’s Grocers Day;
Albertsons, Safeway, Vons & Pavilions
Unified Grocers, Inc.
C&S Wholesale Grocers
Retail Marketing Services, Inc.
Food 4 Less/Rancho San Miguel Markets
North State Grocery, Inc.
Ralphs Grocery Company/Food 4 Less
Smart & Final
Save Mart Supermarkets
Jelly Belly Candy Co.
Ice Cream Social
Clover Stornetta Farms, Inc.
Grocers Day Highlights