FMI – The Food Industry Association has added to its board of directors, with the aim of advancing connectivity among food retailers, suppliers and other business partners. Arlington, Virginia-based FMI welcomed another two leaders from its product suppliers, who now number 13 this year, as well as five new retailer and wholesaler leaders, to its board. The appointments were approved at FMI’s recent virtual board meeting, which also noted significant additions to the association’s member community in 2020.
“I am grateful for the imaginative leadership, the courageous perseverance and the care our companies have displayed throughout this national crisis,” said FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin. “Over the last eight months, our board leaders have had an opportunity to convene for productive, noncompetitive dialog on everything from public policy matters to food and product safety concerns, and, of course, supply-chain issues– ultimately keeping this nation fed and cared for during these demanding times.”
Added Sarasin: “FMI has successfully created an environment in which companies – both retailers and suppliers – can come together for honest exchanges, productive conversation and opportunities to learn from each other, with the consumer ultimately being the beneficiary of this collaboration.”
The new retailer/wholesaler board members are Tim Devanney, co-president, Highland Park Market, in Connecticut; Bob Palmer, CEO, C&S Wholesale Grocers, who recently came out of retirement to helm the company; John Laney, SVP, general merchandise manager – packaged goods, Walmart; Lisa Roath, SVP, merchandising, food and beverage, Target; and Tony Sarsam, president and CEO, SpartanNash, who was hired this past September, while the new product supplier board members are Tony Gavin, EVP, Bimbo Bakeries USA, and Shane Grant, EVP and CEO, Danone North America.
In her president’s report to the board, Sarasin noted that the association continues to re-evaluate member expectations, and the ways that industry participants want to engage with FMI, to advance the association’s central mission to advocate, collaborate and educate while supporting the food industry’s efforts to feed families and improve lives.
In this vein, FMI recruited 12 diverse retail members to join the association this year: Bodega Latina Corp., Cantoro Italian Market, Dom’s Kitchen and Market, Fresh Farms Market, Good Ranchers, Jackson Mitchell Holdings Inc., Plum Market, Ranchr Inc., Salt & Light, Sprouts Farmers Market Inc., The Fresh Market Inc., and Zupan’s Markets.
Additionally, these companies recently joined FMI as product supplier members: Anheuser-Busch Cos. LLC, Bimbo Bakeries USA, Campbell Soup Co., Kimberly-Clark Corp., Mondelez International, Nestlé USA, PepsiCo Inc., The Pictsweet Co., The Coca-Cola Co., The J.M. Smucker Co., Treehouse Foods Inc., Unilever and Danone North America.
“Delivering value is an often-discussed concept, but in FMI’s case, the shift to become ‘The Food Industry Association’ means the organization is effectively pitching a bigger tent and creating a food flywheel of sorts,” wrote Mike Troy, editorial director of Progressive Grocer and Retail Leader, earlier this year. “To the extent FMI is successful recruiting new and nontraditional food retailers as members, it will speak with an even more powerful voice on regulatory issues.”
Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, PG's 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Minneapolis-based Target is No. 7; Keene, New Hampshire-based C&S is No. 14; and Grand Rapids, Michigan-based SpartanNash is No. 40.