Why the Specialty Food Association Is Dissolving Its Foundation

Organization believes working directly with existing groups is more efficient
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Specialty Food Association Fancy Food Show
The Specialty Food Association is finding more efficient ways to get food leftover from its Fancy Food Shows to those in need.

In an effort to more efficiently distribute the food left over from its popular Fancy Food Show events, the Specialty Food Association (SFA) is dissolving its nonprofit Specialty Food Foundation, effective Dec. 31. The organization believes working directly with local charities, food banks and other foundations is a better way to reduce its waste following the trade shows.

"The foundation added an unnecessary layer of complexity," explained SFA President Bill Lynch. "Getting food from our Fancy Food Show events to those in need is best handled by organizations with existing expertise and infrastructure in that space, like our partners at City Harvest."

[Read more: "What Are the Top Specialty Food Trends for 2023?"]

For its part, the foundation’s board of directors has decided to disburse its remaining assets to the Good Food Foundation and the Upcycled Food Foundation, each of which has received a $50,500 grant.

"With so many organizations doing important work, we had to think strategically about how these funds could be most impactful," said Specialty Food Foundation Board Chair Nora Weiser. "Good Food Foundation and Upcycled Foods share our core values and will use the grants to rapidly advance programs that provide direct support to specialty food makers and retailers."

"The opportunity to fight climate change through upcycled food and products is immense," said Upcycled Food Foundation Interim CEO Angie Crone. "Since 2019, we've helped divert nearly 1 billion pounds of food waste. This grant will allow us to continue those efforts while raising the awareness and visibility of upcycled foods at key industry events like SFA's Fancy Food Shows."

The SFA hosts both a Winter Fancy Food Show and a summer Fancy Food Show, and is the leading trade association and source of information about the $175 billion specialty food industry for 70 years. The SFA represents manufacturers, importers, retailers, distributors, brokers and others in the trade.

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