During last week's annual meeting of NGA's government relations committee, attendees created a comprehensive strategy to advocate for such key policies as antitrust reform and swipe fee reform.
The National Grocers Association (NGA) government relations committee met last week in Washington, D.C., for its annual meeting to discuss top policy priorities for independent grocers and finalize the 2024 policy agenda. During the meeting, the committee created a comprehensive strategy to advocate for such key policies as antitrust reform and swipe fee reform.
“Over the last several years, NGA has made tremendous strides on behalf of independent supermarkets in the areas of antitrust and swipe fee reform,” noted Chris Jones, chief government relations officer and counsel at the Washington, D.C.-based trade association, which represents the independent sector of the food distribution industry. “NGA’s annual government relations committee meeting has been critical to this success by bringing issues at the store level to Capitol Hill. I thank committee members that joined the meeting to finalize our strategic plan. We are excited to work with lawmakers based on this agenda to advance federal policies that help independent grocers maintain their place at the heart of communities across the United States.”
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The meeting kicked off on the morning of Jan. 11 with introductory remarks from Tom Charley, NGA government relations committee chair and owner of Greensburg, Pa.-based Charley Family Shop N’ Save. NGA staff then went over the current political landscape, NGA grass-roots strategies, the latest antitrust reform developments and emerging issues affecting independent supermarkets, such as the inability to accept healthy benefit cards, along with food waste and traceability.
The day wrapped up with a visit from U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., an ardent supporter of independent grocers. Lofgren is currently a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee and Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law.
NGA plans to engage its members on these advocacy priorities throughout the year through such means as Congressional Store Tours, NGA’s new Grocery Guard program and the annual Fly-In for Fair Competition, set for May 21-22, which brings independent retailers, wholesalers and state association executives to the nation’s capital to call for a level playing field in the grocery industry through the enforcement of the Robinson-Patman Act and legislation to reform credit card routing to lower swipe fees.