NJFC Hosts Insightful Northeast Regional Loss Prevention Conference

NJFC Honors Industry Leaders and Law Enforcement Partners

for Efforts to Reduce Retail Theft

Focusing on the challenges of loss prevention and security in the food and retail industries, the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) last week joined the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association (NJRMA) in hosting the widely-attended Northeast Regional Loss Prevention Conference and Exhibition at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township.

You can view photos from the event here!

The event featured keynote speakers from the retail industry and law enforcement, including Assistant United States Attorney Zach Intrater, Deputy Chief of the Economics Crimes Section of the Criminal Division. A key focus of this year’s conference was the importance of partnerships between the retail industry and law enforcement professionals to help thwart crime and reduce risk.

“New Jersey’s retail and food industry is fortunate to have the support of dedicated law enforcement professionals at the local, state, and federal level assisting us in our efforts to reduce loss and prevent crime,” said Linda Doherty, NJFC President.  “This year’s conference hit on some very important topics for our industry, ranging from the threat of terrorism to organized retail theft, and how we can work with law enforcement to reduce risk, increase safety, and prevent crime.”

Featured topics of the conference included a session on evolving threats in retail security by James D’Arcy, Vice President of Cambridge Security.  D’Arcy spoke about ways in which retail establishments can protect themselves from becoming “soft targets” of terrorist attacks.  Additionally, Robert Anzilotti, Chief of Detectives at the Bergen County Prosecutors Office, presented an Organized Retail Crime case study on “Operation Jersey Boyz,” a high-profile organized crime ring that was brought to justice through the cooperation of retail executives with law enforcement officers.

Other sessions included “The Impact of the Heroin Crisis on Organized Retail Theft” presented by Chief Chris Leusner, Middletown PD and Vice President of NJ Chiefs of Police Association and “Working with Local Law Enforcement on Retail Fraud Cases” presented by Lt. Zsakhiem James, 2nd District Commander, Camden County Police Department.


NJFC Honors Industry Loss Prevention Leader and Law Enforcement Professionals

Additionally, the annual conference honored food industry executives and law enforcement professionals for their achievements in the field of loss prevention.  Ed Rohena of Stop & Shop Supermarkets received the 2016 Loss Prevention Professional Award, and three law enforcement officers received the 2016 Retail Law Enforcement Achievement Award:  Kate Ingram from the New Jersey State Police; Detective Mike Coffey from the Piscataway Police Department; and Detective Mark Bajada from the Toms River Police Department.

“The annual Loss Prevention Professional Award recognizes Ed Rohena, Asset Protection Manager with Stop & Stop Supermarkets as a loss prevention executive who has advanced the mission of loss prevention and has offered significant contributions to protect and promote retail security issues,” said Doherty.  “With more than two decades of experience, Ed has worked tirelessly with NJFC to promote retail security and loss prevention throughout the food industry, so it is only fitting that we honor his leadership and achievements at this conference.”

“Finally, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations and gratitude to the three members of law enforcement honored with the 2016 Retail Law Enforcement Achievement Award,” Doherty continued.  “Their dedication to partnering with the retail community to combat crime has been critical to our efforts to reduce loss and theft, especially in dealing with organized retail crime.”

Speaking Agenda Announced for the Loss Prevention Conference!

2016-northeast-regional-loss-prevention-conference-save-the-dateWe’re pleased to announce an exciting and timely agenda for the annual Northeast Regional Loss Prevention Conference, sponsored by New Jersey Food Council and New Jersey Retail Merchants Association.
Featured Speakers and Topics Include:
  • Legal Challenges in the Retail Industry: Loss Prevention, Fraud and Privacy – U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman – Keynote Speaker
  • Impact of the Heroin Crisis on Organized Retail Theft – Chief Chris Leusner, Middletown PD and Vice President of NJ Chiefs of Police Association
  • Working with Local Law Enforcement on Retail Fraud Cases – Lt. Zsakhiem James, 2nd District Commander, Camden County PD
  • ORC Case Study – Operation Jersey Boyz – Robert Anzilotti, Chief of Detectives at the Bergen County Prosecutors Office
  • Evolving Threats in Retail Security – James D’Arcy, VP of Cambridge Security
If you haven’t yet registered for this must-attend industry conference, please visit: http://njfoodcouncil.com/2016/01/13/loss-prevention-conference-exhibition/

FCCfGG Hosts Successful 43rd Annual Good Government Breakfast

Honors Legislators and NJ Health Commissioner at Event

NJFC, Good Government  Breakfast


With over 200 food industry executives, business leaders and legislators in attendance, the Food Council Committee for Good Government (FCCfGG) this week hosted its 43rd Annual Good Government Breakfast at Forsgate Country Club. You can view a highlight video of the event here, or at the bottom of this page!

The political action arm of the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC), FCCfGG honored Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-1) and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16) as Legislators of the Year for their efforts in support of the New Jersey food industry. Additionally, New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett was presented with the Thomas W. Kelly Government Service Award.

Recognizing leaders within the food industry, FCCfGG presented Tom Cormier of Ahold USA with the 2016 Good Government Award for his outstanding efforts advocating for our industry.  The Committee also recognized future industry leaders who recently graduated from NJFC’s 2016 Leadership Development Class.

“This breakfast is a celebration of the good government process and our commitment to working with government officials and legislators to develop sound public policy,” said FCCfGG Chairman Phil Scaduto of Food Circus Foodtown who welcomed attendees with opening remarks.

Representing businesses that collectively employ more than 200,000 New Jerseyans, NJFC President and CEO Linda Doherty highlighted the importance of advocacy and government partnerships in order to help grow the industry.

“We’re one of the largest industries in New Jersey, and so it is critically important that we have these partnerships with local, state and federal government officials,” Doherty said.

Attendees also heard from Peter Larkin, President and CEO of the National Grocers Association (NGA) who talked about a number of important issues facing the food industry at the state and federal level, including minimum wage and labor policy issues.

“Whether it is local government, state government or federal government, a lot of these issues have a tremendous impact on our businesses,” Larkin said, who gave participants a briefing on the positions of this year’s presidential candidates in regards to the food industry.

“The New Jersey food industry has a strong commitment to advocacy and good government relations, as demonstrated by the outstanding attendance at this year’s event,” Doherty concluded.  “This breakfast is always a great opportunity for food industry executives to talk with legislators on both sides of the aisle about the issues that matter most to their businesses.  We look forward to continuing to build strong relationships with our elected officials in the months and years to come.”


About FCCfGG

Since its formation, the FCCfGG has been instrumental in promoting good relations between elected officials, candidates for office, and the food industry. NJFC members have the ability to learn about the ideas and opinions of their leaders and candidates on a number of issues which may impact their businesses, as well as communicate their views on important issues to the candidates for public office.

The New Jersey Food Council is the Garden State’s preeminent trade association representing 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that collectively employ more than 200,000 associates in NJ.  For more information, visit www.njfoodcouncil.com


2016 Good Government Breakfast Highlight Video

NJ Food Council Graduates 2016 Leadership Development Class


(L-R) Keith Breen of Perlmart; Nicholas Lewandoski of ACME Markets; Jessica Reiley of FoodCircus; Paula Coltriano of Acosta Sales and Marketing; Phil Scaduto of FoodCircus; Todd Ferrera of Wegmans Food Markets; Mike Nelson of Wegmans Food Markets; NJFC President Linda Doherty; James Hazlett of Bimbo Bakeries and NJFC Board Chair Judy Spires of Kings Food Markets



Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Al Murray addresses the group prior to the graduation ceremony

The New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) recently celebrated the graduation of its 2016 Leadership Development Class at a reception hosted by Wegmans Food Markets in Woodbridge, New Jersey.  Launched in 2014, the Food Council Leadership Development Program provides training for future leaders who have a passion for working in the food industry, possess an interest in the dynamics and trends of government, and want to make a difference in the direction of the industry.

Featuring speakers from Federal and State governments as well as the food industry, the program combines elements of mentoring, organizational education, leadership training, policy trends, and guided experiences. This year, Scott Coffina, Senior Deputy Chief Counsel to the Governor’s Office, and Al Murray, New Jersey Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, were keynote speakers for the final session of the program.

Each year, NJFC member companies have the ability to nominate potential candidates for participation in the program.  NJFC’s Leadership Development Team then selects those individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to the New Jersey Food Council and who have great potential for growth and advancement in the food distribution business.

Senior Deputy Chief Counsel Scott Coffina addresses the group prior to the graduation ceremony

“We really enjoyed working with this year’s class of rising stars in the food industry,” said NJFC President, Linda Doherty.  “One of the main goals of this program is to educate future leaders on public policy areas that impact their business and the food industry’s bottom line. We were fortunate to have key policy leaders from the Governor’s Office and the Department of Agriculture work with this group and explain the inner-workings of state government and the importance of advocacy.”

“The training and mentoring they received throughout this entire program will not only help advance their careers, but also ensure the food industry continues to flourish,” Doherty continued.  “We applaud the group for their hard work and commitment to the program and we look forward to their continued success.”



Below are the individuals in this year’s graduating NJFC Leadership Development class:

  • Antonio Acosta – Kings Food Markets
  • Keith Breen – Perlmart
  • Paula Colatriano – Acosta Sales & Marketing
  • James Haslett – Bimbo Bakeries USA
  • Nicholas Lewandoski  – Acme Markets
  • Michael Nelson – Wegmans Food Markets
  • Jessica Riley – Food Circus Super Markets

NJFC Statement on Governor Christie’s Veto of 79 Percent Minimum Wage Increase

Linda Doherty, President and CEO of the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC), released the following statement regarding Governor Christie’s absolute veto of legislation which would drastically increase the minimum wage in New Jersey to $15 an hour:

“We support the action today by Governor Christie in vetoing a 79 percent increase in the minimum wage that would have made New Jersey one of the highest required wages in the country. New Jersey’s food retail and distribution industry employs almost 200,000 workers annually, and our member companies operate on very slim margins.  While the industry is committed to providing our employees with competitive wages and generous benefit packages, New Jersey food stores would be unable to afford such a drastic increase in labor costs without reducing staff, cutting hours and benefits, and raising prices on consumers. 

“Minimum wage increases reduce access to entry level positions particularly in labor intensive industries like food retail and distribution which relies on students who live at home, seasonal workers and retirees supplementing their income.

DSC_2168“Ironically, it is the food companies that call New Jersey home, providing tens of thousands of New Jerseyans with jobs that would be particularly disadvantaged by this extraordinarily high wage floor.  Big box stores could absorb higher labor costs in New Jersey by raising prices minimally across their huge supply chain.  On-line retailers will pursue automated technology to avoid hiring people.  It is New Jersey food retailers that would bear the burden of this forced wage increase because these stores can only realize a limited number of sales and prices can only be raised so high to compensate for the higher wage costs.

“Economists John Dunham & Associates have conducted a comprehensive economic analysis of New Jersey’s food retail and distribution industry. The data shows that New Jersey has lagged behind national job growth, both in lower-skilled jobs and in total jobs, in almost every year the minimum wage was increased. Following the 2014 minimum wage increase, low wage job growth fell from 2.79 percent to 1.48 percent, a loss of -1.31 percent.

“The data also reveals that a drastic minimum wage increase would lead to a significant increase in the price of groceries and other essentials. The price tag of a $15 minimum wage in increased costs to consumers is nearly $294 million. Even more troubling is that seniors age 55 and above, many of whom are on fixed incomes, would bear 40 percent of these increased costs to the tune of nearly $125 million.  Basic necessities would cost more, such as toilet paper, which would increase by 19 percent.

DSC_2193“Food retailers are the anchor of almost every New Jersey community, and our industry has an impact on the health and wellness of New Jersey residents. This forced increase would jeopardize new food retail investment and job growth, and would drastically raise prices for food and groceries for all New Jersey families.

“New Jersey was once the headquarters of supermarket giants Pathmark and The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), a combined 200 years in the grocery business. These stores recently filed for bankruptcy in 2015 after the last wage hike. While these companies had their struggles, the last forced wage increase was unsustainable. A significant minimum wage increase would further jeopardize established New Jersey food retailers that will find it difficult to afford the nation’s highest minimum wage.

“The New Jersey Food Council appreciates the action by Governor Christie today.  We look forward to working with the State Legislature as this issue continues to be deliberated in the months to come.”

The New Jersey Food Council is the Garden State’s preeminent trade association representing 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that collectively employ more than 200,000 associates in NJ.  For more information, visit www.njfoodcouncil.com.