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FDI Board Approves Plan for Umbrella Organization With FMI

DALLAS - The Board of Governors of Food Distributors International (FDI) has approved a plan in which the association's wholesale grocery companies will join an umbrella organization with members of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). The plan will be effective Jan. 1, 2003, if it is ratified by the full membership at FDI.

FDI's current membership includes both grocery wholesale companies and foodservice distributors, while FMI represents grocery retailers as well as some of the current grocery wholesale members of FDI.

Under the plan, to be submitted to the FMI Board for approval in May, FDI president John Block will serve as executive vice president at FMI and be in charge of the wholesale component, which will also be represented by a Wholesale Advisory Board and have several new seats on the FMI Board of Directors. An Executive Committee, an Industry Relations Committee, Government Relations Committee, and legal counsel will support the Wholesale Advisory Board.

FDI will continue all of its activities throughout 2002, including its lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill, its education and research functions, communications services, industry relations activities, and its on-line service, Food FleetXchange. FDI's Day in Washington and Thomas Jefferson Awards in June, the Midyear Executive Conference in September, and the Productivity Convention and Exposition in Atlanta in October will take place as scheduled.

Foodservice distributors who are now members of the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), the foodservice component within FDI, will form a new stand-alone trade association specifically focusing on foodservice issues and concerns.

IFDA president John Gray will serve as president of the new, independent IFDA, which will continue its operations in Falls Church, Va., as part of FDI until the new organization is launched.

All of IFDA's 2002 programs will proceed as scheduled, including its Sales & Marketing Conference in June, its leadership in the Efficient Foodservice Response (EFR) project, and the President's Conference sponsored in partnership with the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) in November. IFDA will also continue its sponsorship of the Day in Washington and Thomas Jefferson Awards program.
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