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Food Retailers Advocate On Tax Reform And Payments With Lawmakers

From left: Bob King, Associated Food Stores; Aubriana Martindale, The Kroger Co.; Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah); Neal Berube, Associated Food Stores; David Davis, Utah Food Industry Association.

Retail members from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the National Grocers Association (NGA), which include supermarket retailers, wholesalers and food industry state association executives, participated May 1-2 in nearly 200 meetings with Members of Congress and their staff during “Day In Washington,” the annual supermarket industry fly-in.

FMI NGA Day in Washington
From left: TeRoss Young, Ahold Delhaize; Lindsey Kueffner, Carolinas Food Industry Council; Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC); Brian George and John Orgain, Alex Lee Inc.; Kimberley Lyda, Food Lion LLC; Jennifer Gardner, Retail Business Services LLC; Anthony Hucker, Southeastern Grocers Inc.

Grocers and food industry executives advocated for bipartisan support on “Restoring Investment in Improvements Act” (H.R. 1869 and S. 803), the importance of tax rate reductions and making them permanent, as well as the need to make the payments marketplace more competitive and secure for consumers, merchants, issuing banks and the economy. Attendees also heard remarks from Deputy Secretary of Treasury Justin Muzinich, who advised the Secretary on the recent tax reform legislation.

“The single most effective means for educating new and established congressional offices about challenges grocers face with payments and the crucial need for tax reform corrections is for our members to meet face to face with their representatives and directly relay their firsthand experiences,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI president and CEO. “Nothing compares to the power of  grocers authentically sharing how policy decisions affect their business operations, their 4.8 million employees and their customers.”

FMI NGA Day in Washington
Schnuck Markets’ Todd Schnuck, president and CEO, and Jed Penney, associate general counsel for compliance, regulatory affairs and government relations, flank Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO).
FMI NGA Day in Washington
From left: Kevin Davis, Bristol Farms; Congressman Harley Rouda (D-CA); Rob McDougall, Gelson’s Markets; Ron Fong, California Grocers Association.

“With a new majority in Congress and important issues such as payment security and the retail glitch likely to come up for debate, it’s vital that Main Street grocers engage in the political process,” said Peter Larkin, president and CEO of NGA. “I thank everyone who took time to leave their businesses and come to Washington, D.C., to take part in face-to-face conversations with their elected officials. By taking part in the legislative process, grocers can ensure their voices have been heard and their members of Congress have a better understanding of how their actions impact the bottom line.”

FMI advocates on behalf of the food retail industry, which employs nearly 5 million workers and represents a combined annual sales volume of almost $800 billion. FMI member companies operate nearly 33,000 retail food stores and 12,000 pharmacies. FMI membership includes the entire spectrum of food retail venues; single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains, pharmacies, online and mixed retail stores.

FMI NGA Day in Washington
Hannah Walker, FMI senior director of nutrition and technology policy, with Jonathan Mayes, SVP of external affairs and chief diversity officer, Albertsons Cos.

Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education, health and wellness and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to almost 1,000 ­­­food retail and wholesale member companies and serves 85 international retail member companies. In addition, FMI has almost 500 associate member companies that provide products and services to the food retail industry.


FMI/NGA Day In Washington, Washington, D.C., May 1-2, 2019

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