FMI-The Food Industry Association and the National Grocers Association (NGA) today led food and grocery industry stakeholders in meetings with lawmakers from Congress at the 2021 Day in Washington.
FMI and NGA said Wednesday that the virtual event drew more than 230 supermarket retailers and wholesalers from 143 companies and food industry state association executives nationwide. Members from both associations connected online with members of Congress and legislative staff in over 220 meetings to advocate for key policy issues affecting the supermarket sector.
This year, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and the grocery industry’s response and community support topped the list of policy discussions with congressional officials, FMI and NGA noted.
“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. 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,” Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI, said in a statement. “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.”
In the grassroots lobbying event, FMI and NGA members also focused on legislative issues key to their businesses, such as ensuring a fair and consistent tax code and driving reforms to the U.S. card payments system.
“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,” commented Greg Ferrara, NGA’s president and CEO. “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.”
Participants in the April 21 Day in Washington event included the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC). In a tweet, NJFC said members met with New Jersey congressional representatives, including Josh Gottheimer (D., N.J.), who talked with members of the council and grocery retail cooperative Wakefern Food Corp.