1975 A joint advisory board is formed at midyear to work out the details of creating a new food association from two existing ones: The Chicago-based Super Market Institute and the Washington-based National Association of Food Chains. Irving Rabb of Stop & Shop Cos. heads the effort as interim chairman.
The FMI begins to serve the industry Jan. 3. Initiative launched to ease backhaul restrictions, with an action strategy around the slogan "Backhaul Saves."
1978 The FMI consolidates its Chicago and Washington offices by moving operations to Washington. The FMI holds its first Consumer Affairs Conference.
1979 With interest in scanning high, the FMI introduces an independent-operator conference called "Scanning/Pre-Planning," focusing on how to evaluate scanning systems and bring scanners into the stores. Efforts by FMI members help in the Treasury Department's preliminary decision to reject a petition by Florida produce growers to raise tariffs on Mexican and other imported produce.
1980 A victory on backhaul culminates 13 years of industry lobbying as the Motor Carrier Act with a backhaul provision is signed into law. The FMI releases the first Operating Results of Independent Supermarkets report.
1981 The FMI launches a drive to help guarantee passage of the Commercial Business Energy Tax Act, which would allow supermarkets to claim tax credit for the installation of energy-saving equipment. The Uniform Communications Standard is launched under the direction of the Joint Industry Committee.
1982 A wide-ranging study on cents-off coupon handling in the supermarket industry is released with recommendations for industry-wide action. The FMI opens its first regional office in California.
1983 A U.S. Appeals Court
affirms a lower court decision to dismiss a longstanding suit against distributors that alleged a conspiracy to lower beef prices artificially. The FMI-supported Anti-Tampering Act becomes law, establishing severe penalties and instructing the FBI to investigate tampering cases.
1984 ScanLab is introduced as the first computer software package designed to help supermarkets organize scan data for merchandising decisions. * The FMI holds its first conference on electronic funds transfer and unveils its first primer on this topic. 1985 *
1985 Two additional FMI regional offices are established for the Central and Eastern regions. The FMI introduces to supermarkets the Direct Product Profit method of calculating profit.
1986 The FMI releases the results of a joint-industry study on shipping container design with a plan to improve productivity. The FMI helps to enact the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which markedly lowers federal income taxes for supermarkets.
1987 An Umbrella Liability Insurance Plan -- developed jointly by the FMI and the NAWGA -- is put in place to serve retailers and wholesalers. Human resources gets front-burner treatment in the FMI's long-range strategic plan, which emphasizes programs for attracting, training, motivating and developing people for the food-distribution industry.
1988 The FMI steps up its food-safety efforts by introducing the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points system and approving the organization's first strategic food-safety plan designed by the new Food Safety Task Force. The FMI launches a comprehensive AIDS situation management program to help educate supermarkets and opens a 24-hour crisis telephone line for information about the disease.
1989 An FMI task force develops a strategic plan to help restore consumer confidence in food safety following media reports about pesticide residues endangering children and an incident of cyanide traces found in a shipment of grapes from Chile. An FMI task force on solid waste calls for industry leadership in recycling, packaging changes and education.
1990 The FMI sponsors the first supermarket convention for the nations of the Pacific Rim, held in Sydney, Australia. The FMI, which said it generally supports nutrition labeling, pushes for labeling exclusions for certain perishables categories because such information already exists on supermarket signage.
1991 Edward Shevardnadze, former foreign minister of the Soviet Union, addresses the Chicago convention. The FMI develops a national list of supermarkets that redeem coupons in order to help avoid unnecessary clearinghouse rejections or coupon chargebacks.
1992 A McKinsey study presented at the FMI's midyear meeting says that well-run warehouse club stores offer a 26% average-price advantage over supermarkets. Following civil unrest in Los Angeles, the FMI forms the Urban Affairs Task Force to help supermarkets serve understored urban areas.
1993 Tim Hammonds, the FMI senior vice president, is chosen as successor to the retiring Robert Aders after a wide-ranging talent search. Aders steps down during a ceremony in Los Angeles. The FMI introduces Efficient Consumer Response along with nine other associations and the Uniform Code Council. Nearly 200 executives become involved in committees to help develop this initiative aimed at reducing unnecessary costs. More than 2,400 people come to the first MarkeTechnics show, aimed at integrating state-of-the-art technology with merchandising and logistics.
1994 The FMI helps lead the defeat of national health care reforms and striker-replacement legislation. The FMI launches the Family Supermarket Succession Resources program to help independents grapple with succession, estate planning and management development.
1995 Congress agrees to phase out annual licensing fees assessed grocers and wholesalers under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. The FMI had fought for this outcome for about a decade. After more than a year of research, the FMI's Managing Diversity Task Force issues recommendations on promoting diversity and stresses the importance of top management commitment.
1996 The FMI joins cyberspace with a home page on the internet. The MealSolutions convention is launched in recognition of the urgency of the home-meal replacement trend.
1997 A major renovation at McCormick Place in Chicago enables the FMI to house the exhibits at its May convention all on one floor (in two halls) to ease excessive walking by showgoers. The FMI takes a lead role in a joint effort by government and associations to launch a consumer-education campaign for safe food handling, refrigeration and cooking.