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11/05/2021

Indies Descend on D.C. to Address Industry Issues

Committee meets to set federal priorities, strategy
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Indies Descend on  D.C. to Address Industry Issues Government Relations Committee
L-R: Jimmy Wright, president of Wright’s Market; Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.; and NGA Government Relations Committee Chairman Wade Payne

National Grocers Association (NGA) Government Relations Committee members from across the United States met this past week in the nation’s capital to determine top federal priorities and strategize with several key CPG partners.

Topics covered by NGA  in 40-plus meetings with congress members and legislative staffers included advancing pro-growth tax policies, OSHA’s vaccine mandate, and the supply chain and labor crises.

Joining attendees for the discussions were Sameera Fazili, the deputy director of the White House National Economic Council; Tricia Sexton Kovacs, the senior policy advisor for agriculture at the White House Domestic Policy Council; Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., the ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“The fly-in allows us to bring concerns from our hometown operations right to the steps of Congress and reinforce how important independent grocery operators are to the nation’s economy,” said Government Relations Committee Chairman Wade Payne, director of retail operations at Food Giant/Mitchell Grocery, in Alabama. “With inflation, supply chain and other challenges looming large, independent grocers are eager to work with policymakers on solutions for all our communities nationwide.”

Additionally, in his testimony on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 3 before the House Agriculture Committee on supply chain challenges facing food retailers, NGA President and CEO Greg Ferrara stressed how enforcement of antitrust laws would help independent grocers better serve their communities.

“Our members are the strongest advocates for their industry, and bringing their stories right to lawmakers’ front doors is essential.” noted Ferrara.

Washington, D.C.-based NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale community grocers comprising the independent sector of the food distribution industry. The independent grocery sector is accountable for about 1.2% of the nation’s overall economy and responsible for generating more than $250 billion in sales, 1.1 million jobs, $39 billion in wages and $36 billion in taxes. NGA members encompass retail and wholesale grocers across the country, along with state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers.

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