More than 230 supermarket retailers and wholesalers from 143 companies and food industry state association executives from all over the United States met virtually April 21 with members of Congress during the annual “Day in Washington” supermarket industry fly-in, held virtually this year. Last year’s event was canceled.
Members of the FMI – The Food Industry Association and the National Grocers Association (NGA) took part in more than 220 meetings with legislators and their staffers to bring forward key policy issues affecting the supermarket industry. Legislative topics included maintaining a fair tax code that provides certainty, and reforming the U.S. card payments system. Attendees also emphasized the industry’s exemplary efforts to serve their communities during the pandemic.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, supermarket operators and our millions of dedicated employees have worked tirelessly to safely keep their doors open and Americans fed,” noted said Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of Arlington, Virginia-based FMI, which brings together a wide range of members across the value chain, including retailers, producers and service providers. “And, while we’re beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel, we know there is still a long way to go. Our members look forward to sharing with policymakers the challenges they’ve faced and how they responded with unprecedented levels of investment to keep customers and workers as safe as possible, give back to their communities and help Americans get vaccinated. Our industry is committed to working with Congress on critical policies that will allow us to effectively support the nation’s ongoing economic recovery.”
“Independent community grocers have rallied to ensure their neighbors’ needs have been met in a time of crisis, and have been proactive at innovating for safety as well as retailing,” said Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NGA, which represents the retail and wholesale grocers comprising the independent sector of the food distribution industry. “This week, our industry’s leaders made sure that policymakers understand the lengths to which supermarket operators have gone to maintain and grow strong communities, and how leaders in Washington can best support these ongoing efforts. We are united as an industry in working with Congress on the most impactful ways to lead our communities into a strong and vibrant future.”