LAS VEGAS — Independent food brokers were rated highly in many areas in terms of the service they provide, according to an internal survey of about 200 Unified Grocers buyers, category managers and advertising specialists that was presented at a brokers’ conference here on Saturday. More than 80% of the Unified workers who were polled rated independent brokers as good, very good or excellent, according to Phil Smith, executive vice president and chief procurement officer for Los Angeles-based Unified, who presented the data at the Independent Food Brokers of America Top-to-Top Executive Business Conference here last week. “We’re seeing a renaissance for independents,” he told attendees, referring to the independent retailers that jointly own the cooperative wholesaler. “Our customers are agile, just as you are agile as independents. We think independent brokers will be successful as well.” The IFBA meeting, held in conjunction with the Food Marketing Institute Show, drew record attendance of more than 300, IFBA leaders said.
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