More than 200 supermarket retailers, wholesalers and food industry state association executives from across the nation convened in Washington, D.C., on April 11 for the annual “Day in Washington” supermarket industry fly-in.
Retail members from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the National Grocers Association (NGA) are participating in more than 200 meetings with members of Congress and key legislative staff to advocate on central policy issues that impact the supermarket industry. Top policy priorities on the agenda include advocating for the preservation of a strong Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) public-private partnership, opposing any new fees, reporting mandates or other costly administrative burdens on retailers, and working toward a robust payments ecosystem that enhances payment card security and transparency with an open standards-setting regime and supports secure dual routing for credit and stronger authentication methods at checkout. Attendees will also hear remarks from Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5), an advocate for considering food retail business issues.
“Food retailers take great pride in selling safe, quality and affordable food to the diverse neighborhoods they serve across the country,” said FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin. “This mission remains consistent; it’s the socioeconomic forces that are changing. Our industry is transforming, and our members’ participation in the policymaking process has arguably never been more important. Congress needs to hear first-hand examples from the food retail industry, as a direct witness to the behavioral, social and economic changes affecting the ways consumers shop for food—namely how the influences of technology, privacy and the shifts in consumer values affect their businesses. We’re all experts when it comes to buying groceries for ourselves and our families, but it’s important that members of Congress understand how proposed administrative changes affect grocers’ narrow margins and their ability to help communities thrive.”
“As the debate on food and nutrition policies continue to unfold in our nation’s capital, it’s critical that supermarket operators engage in the political process, and as an industry, we speak with one collective voice to inform and educate members of Congress and their staff about the impact such policies have on day-to-day operations,” said Peter Larkin, president and CEO of NGA. “The supermarket industry plays a significant role in the nation’s economic footprint, but more importantly, on the local level as job creators and backbones of the communities. We are grateful for the grocery operators who took the time to leave their stores and come to Washington, D.C., to share their stories with policymakers on Capitol Hill.”