New Global Group Concerns NGA

The formation of a new, global association representing the largest food retailers and manufacturers around the world is being met with some skepticism by the National Grocers Association here, which fears that the new group might neglect the interests of independent operators.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The formation of a new, global association representing the largest food retailers and manufacturers around the world is being met with some skepticism by the National Grocers Association here, which fears that the new group might neglect the interests of independent operators.

As previously reported in SN, CIES — The Food Business Forum, based in Paris, has merged with the Global Commerce Initiative, based in Cologne, Germany, to form a new group called the Consumer Goods Forum to “speak with one voice” on certain industry issues.

“Certainly within the industry it is very commendable when associations and companies really make significant efforts to become more efficient and reduce duplication,” Thomas Zaucha, president and chief executive officer, NGA, told SN. “But it is very, very important to remember that all industry segments, domestically and internationally, deserve and will demand industry representation and service, and that no one single organization can be all things to all people.”

Consumers benefit from diversity in retail formats, Zaucha said, and “we are not sure this new organization [Consumer Goods Forum] has much focus on the important role that the independent operator and regional operator, along with wholesalers, play in ensuring that diversity.”

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