The new partnership revealed by FMI and the IDFA will address the empty shelves in supermarkets as a result of panic buying during the COVID-19 outbreak
FMI – The Food Industry Association and the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) have formed an ad-hoc partnership in response to rising shopper needs amid the coronavirus pandemic. The groups’ new matching program will connect foodservice distributors that have excess capacity in the areas of products, transportation services and warehousing services with food retailers and wholesalers in need of additional resources to meet grocery stores’ surging demand.
The huge sales of food, water and cleaning products in recent weeks have surpassed those of any previous shopping holiday season, causing retailers to experience delays between replenishment. To help with this situation, many local and state governments have recommended or mandated closing restaurants, schools and other businesses supported by the foodservice distribution industry. Meanwhile, foodservice distribution businesses require economic sustainability, so the new partnership aims to alleviate that problem as well as serve Americans across the country.
“These are unprecedented times with unprecedented needs, but if we can think in terms of partnerships and problem solving, we can get through this together,” noted Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based FMI. “We are committed to replenishing supplies, but we know it will take cooperation, patience and consistency to deliver results.”
“Our industries are both committed to the safe delivery of food to consumers, and we are equipped to provide service during this critical time in our country,” said Mark Allen, president and CEO of the McLean, Va.-based IFDA. “This partnership makes sense, and it is in these times of turmoil that we must step up and fill the gaps when we can to help each other where we can.”