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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- California Grocers Association (CGA) president Peter Larkin yesterday received the Food Marketing Institute Donald H. MacManus Association Executive Award for 2005, in recognition of Larkin's public affairs leadership.
"Peter is a dynamic leader representing our industry in the nation's largest state," FMI president and c.e.o. Tim Hammonds said as he presented the award at the Day in Washington public affairs conference, which is co-sponsored by FMI. "Over the years Peter and the [CGA] have reformed countless laws and regulations with commonsense improvements, and have proactively enacted programs that benefit the industry, consumers, and the state."
As an example, Hammonds cited Larkin's meeting with then-Gov. Gray Davis to form the CGA Energy Conservation Task Force during the California energy crisis. The group developed a plan for retailers to slash electricity use by 10 percent during emergencies by cutting down on lighting, air conditioning and nonessential energy use when necessary. California food retailers won acclaim across the state for their proactive stance.
More recently, Larkin and the CGA tackled the expensive problem of workers' compensation after claims passed the $30 billion mark, noted Hammonds. The association created a comprehensive plan to lower medical costs, promote competition, and reduce claims. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state legislature adopted most of the plan, and the cost is now going down.
CGA also addressed country-of-origin labeling by rolling out a state-level labeling program, "California Grown." The initiative's success is the reason that country-of-origin labeling isn't mandatory in California, even though the state grows half the nation's produce, said FMI.
An active member of FMI's government relations committee, Larkin also serves on the boards of the Food Industry Association of Executives and the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security.