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September 17, 2021



From the desk of the ALA President

EU health certifications restriction update. ALA has been working with the transportation officials at the Pentagon to address the concerns of the EU requiring health certifications for products destined to U.S. military consumers on bases in Europe. Since the policy was issued, there has been some disconnects between implementation and the policy. We’ve been informed that the European Command and Command Foreign Policy Advisors are working this and have engaged German and Dutch authorities to clarify any confusion regarding the application of the U.S. government position that the restrictions should not apply to products destined for U.S. forces there. We’ll keep you posted.

As Pentagon leaders move to meet increased housing costs with higher payments to the troops, they need to recognize and resource similar inflation-driven prices in commissaries. The Military Times is reporting that military members and families affected by surging housing costs in 56 areas around the country may soon get relief through am “out-of-cycle” temporary hike in their Basic Allowance for Housing. And, both Houses of Congress recently moved to provide a “Basic Needs Allowance” to help primarily junior enlisted troops who are having trouble putting food on the table as demonstrated by increased participation in food banks by military families that are being supported by ALA member companies and other entities.

At the same time, military commissary consumers are being hit with increased food prices as commodity costs increased driven by pandemic induced scarcity of product. The DoD should encourage and foster efforts on the part of the commissary program and DeCA leadership aimed at recent measures to maintain the commissary savings levels in the face of rising food prices. Just last week, DeCA announced price reductions on thousands of products. The Pentagon should provide more funding to DeCA to allow them to pump the brakes on margin generation while commodity prices for food products are increasing for American consumers across America …





Report: Drastic changes to military pay, benefits needed to meet rising personnel costs
Military Times
The average cost per active duty service member for the military this fiscal year was $136,000.



How equipment left In Afghanistan will expose US secrets
Defense One
Even rendered inoperable, equipment now in the hands of the Taliban will yield troves of information about how the U.S. builds weapons and uses them.



Bisek & Company, Inc. Military Resale Distributing Agent and Broker
Understands how important the benefit of the Commissary and Exchange is to the active duty and retired military service personnel. We will work with a manufacturer to bring their variety of products to this unique market. Bisek & Company’s sales team is dedicated to doing what it takes to keep those special shoppers coming back to the Commissaries and Exchanges. Contact Bisek & Company so we may help you better understand what it takes to succeed in expanding your role in this very special benefit. Contact Jennifer Harrell ( or Laurie Cust (



New plan scales back massive cuts in military medical billets
Military Times
Many of the billets will be either replaced by civilian hires or their work will be “absorbed” by others.



Temporary hike in BAH imminent for some troops, families caught in housing crunch
Military Times
Military members and families affected by surging housing costs in 56 areas around the country may soon get relief through a temporary hike in their Basic Allowance for Housing.



Army’s plan for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines is here
Army Times
Active duty troops have until Dec. 15 to receive one of the vaccines authorized by either the Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization.



What happens to soldiers who refuse the COVID vaccine?
Punishments for troops, especially senior leaders, who steadfastly refuse without an exemption could include discharge.





COVID Delta Variant spread forces ALA Annual conference to be held virtually
The ALA Annual Conference originally scheduled to be held at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott on October 18-20 will now be held online. We had to move to the virtual format because several government agencies could not attend, and several corporate policies of ALA member companies were not allowing travel due to the spread of the COVID Delta Variant. Those who have already registered will have the option to convert their registration to the lower virtual rate and receive a refund for the balance. ALA is planning a full slate of conference for 2022 — and COVID-permitting — will be held in person.


DeCA director talks improvements
Fort Carson Mountaineer
Remember that grocery store you and your family grew up with — the one that had all of your favorite specialty items from around the world and the butcher who was always happy to cut that special roast for your family’s meal? I remember it, too, and I also remember the cashier who offered a wink and a smile because she knew us so well, it felt like family. I remember it so well because it was my commissary.



Exchange-exclusive brands provide everyday savings for military shoppers
Military shoppers save with tax-free shopping at Army & Air Force Exchange Service stores—and Exchange-exclusive brands offer even greater savings every day on clothing, health and beauty items, household supplies, kitchenware, home décor, snacks and more.





General Mills competing effectively across its core
Food Business News
Leveraging stronger execution and support behind brand building and innovation has helped General Mills, Inc. improve its competitiveness in the North American retail landscape over the past three years, said Jonathon J. Nudi, group president of North America Retail.



Reopening roadblocks: How your equipment can bridge the gap
By Rachel Herren
For leaders in the food industry, it seems, the steady return to normalcy is simply a transition to a new state of uncertainty. As you prepare for widespread reopening, you’re likely wondering how to tackle these new challenges while staying focused on recovering revenue and keeping up with demand. A big part of the answer lies in what you’re keeping behind the counter.



Survey: Convenience drives online grocery shopping more than COVID
Supermarket News
It’s convenience — not concern — that has spurred more grocery shoppers to go online, new research from digital payment specialist ACI Worldwide shows.



Kellogg investing $45M to revamp North American supply chain
Food Dive
Kellogg plans to invest about $45 million in restructuring its North American supply chain over the next three years as it seeks to meet demand for its ready-to-eat cereals. The company expects the plan to “help offset cost inflation and reinvest in our brands,” according to a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.



General Mills brings ‘all hands on deck’ to manage unexpected labor constraints throughout supply chain
Despite “more inflation than we’ve seen in really in a decade,” General Mills has successfully offset increases with little detriment to sales or retailer and consumer relationships, but managing labor constraints and supply chain challenges hasn’t been as easy or successful, according to a company executive.





Date Event More Information
Oct. 18-21 ALA Annual Convention 2021 Virtual
Oct. 21 Save the Date: Hampton Roads Oyster Roast Scholarship Golf event See announcement below

Specific information on upcoming ALA events is posted regularly on the ALA website.


2021 ALA 74th National Convention and Food Service Workshop | October 18-21 | Virtual

Attention ALA Members:


We are pleased to announce that registration for the virtual 74th Annual Convention, October 18-20, is now OPEN!

Staff and ALA volunteer leadership are working diligently to finalize all convention details, including agendas and more. In the interim, please feel free to register at the early bird rate using the “Register” button below.

We look forward to safely hosting you along with our military partners in October.




Hampton Roads Oyster Roast Scholarship Golf | Oct. 21

Hampton Roads Oyster Roast Scholarship Golf event

Date: October 21, 2020
Where: Eagle Haven Golf Course-JEB Little Creek.

Contact Paul Wehner, 757-858-9396,


ALA Executive BriefingConnect with ALA

Jason Zimmerman, Director of Publishing, Multiview, 469-420-2686 | Download media kit
Rebecca Eberhardt, Sr. Content Editor, Multiview, 469-420-2608 | Contribute News

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