Make Your Voice Heard As VI
- Represents the vinegar industry on domestic and international matters, with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Washington, DC, Brussels and Beijing.
- Monitors Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) efforts regarding a variety of regulations, including labeling, health claims and food security and provides timely summaries prepared by VI legal counsel.
- Intercedes on behalf of members to assist in compliance with applicable laws and regulations related to the FDA, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Transportation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
- Participates in industry coalitions on a variety of issues, such as food security, biotechnology and food allergens, with an eye toward issues of interest to the vinegar industry. For example, VI participated in
the development of a United States Department survey for the food industry related to genetic resources and information related to white distilled vinegar for the FDA.
- Voices the needs of the U.S. vinegar industry to international bodies, such as the Codex Alimentarius and the European Union, toward the goal of international harmonization.
Meet Your Peers and Maintain Industry Relations
- Interact with industry colleagues once a year at the VI Annual Meeting each March for an opportunity to review issues and solutions with your peers in legally approved forums. The Scientific Committee and Board of Directors also meet in September to evaluate current Institute work and
plan projects for the upcoming fiscal year.
- Also during the Annual Meeting, an Associate Member Caucus is held to provide an opportunity for members of that segment of the industry to meet and to review matters of mutual interest and select Supplier representation to the Board.
- Receive e-mail bulletins and timely updates regarding industry-specific topics, including:
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) information related to implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), including updates on a variety of proposed roles as a result of the law.
- Federal and state activity related to labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMO).
- FDA’s proposed rule “to establish requirements concerning “gluten-free” labeling for foods that are fermented or hydrolyzed or that contain fermented or hydrolyzed ingredients,” which mentions vinegar.
- The FDA issued a Constituent Update seeking input on use of the term “natural” on food labels.
- Access VI’s website “Members Only” section for VI news, including industry news, the exclusive online Membership Directory and access to VI’s Basic Reference Manual.
- Review the Member Communications Archive, which acts as a virtual library of all VI communications sent to members and can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Use the consumer section of VI’s website as a useful tool for your consumers and the media alike with information on vinegar history, statistics, recipes, uses and tips. The site is continually
updated with new information to increase its appeal to consumers and the media.
Gain Technical & Industry Knowledge
- Utilize the collective knowledge of VI’s Scientific Committee, whose charge is to ensure the Institute and its members remain proactive on technical issues affecting the vinegar industry.
- Tap into staff assistance for regulatory, legislative and technical questions, including labeling, standards, food safety, food security and market issues.
- Use a comprehensive scientific literature database on vinegar research.
- Access VI’s Basic Reference Manual, which includes regulatory information specifically related to vinegar, specifications for a variety of vinegars, testing procedures and more.
Work Toward Product Integrity
- Maintenance of VI’s Industry Integrity Program, which utilizes a third party pick-up service to obtain samples that are directly shipped to an independent laboratory for analysis…over 300 samples have
been tested since 1995.
- Alerting label owners of suspected adulteration or mislabeled products after review by VI’s Scientific Committee and Board of Directors. To date, 20 letters have been written.
- Coordinating VI’s label review program to ensure accurate labeling of vinegar and products containing vinegar. To date, eight letters have been written under this program.
Promote Vinegar Products
- Maintain VI’s website, www.versatilevinegar.org,that houses information on vinegar trends, vinegar tips and the latest in the news about vinegar. The site will be updated in 2016.
- Explore promotion opportunities, along with VI’s Promotion Committee, with an eye toward increasing vinegar consumption in a manner to benefit all VI members.
- Act as an industry liaison and providing information to the media for use in articles or features.
- Respond to numerous consumer questions on the various uses of “versatile vinegar.”