Home » Fly-in For Fair Competition Puts Face On Issues Important To Independents
Association News Guest Contributors National

Fly-in For Fair Competition Puts Face On Issues Important To Independents

NGA logo independent grocers

An association is only as strong as its members. That’s why NGA is blessed to have members who are so generous with their time and effort that they put toward advocating for our industry in the halls of government.

There is strength in numbers, and even with as many as we have, there’s always room for more. That’s why I’m inviting you – especially if you haven’t been before – to attend NGA’s next Fly-In for Fair Competition, May 21-22 in Washington, D.C.

You’ll join other independent retailers, wholesalers and state association executives to advocate for a level playing field in the grocery industry. You’ll be putting a face, a voice and a community-centric message behind our legislative priorities, including antitrust reform and legislation to reform credit card routing to lower swipe fees.

We will also call on Congress to pass a strong Farm Bill that ensures grocery retail remains at the center of delivering nutrition assistance through SNAP. Additionally, NGA will be pressing for broader acceptance of Healthy Benefit Cards, which some private health insurers and Medicare Advantage plans offer as a way for eligible individuals to purchase groceries and over-the-counter drugs. However, many independent retailers lack the technology to link their payment systems with the proper networks.

After a comprehensive briefing on the issues with NGA’s Government Relations team and policy experts, fly-in participants will meet with their representatives on Capitol Hill to discuss the pressing issues that are affecting our business.

Tom Charley from Charley Family Shop ‘N Save in western Pennsylvania, who chairs NGA’s Government Relations Committee, says independent grocers can have the greatest impact by “getting the message solidified and having a united front, and hitting the Hill hard with the same message. It is unbelievable to watch our team and how well we can get the word out.”

On the first day of the fly-in, you’ll be guided on how to fine-tune your message so it really resonates with policymakers, and how to become a more effective advocate not only for our industry but for your communities back home – the folks you serve and who rely on you to help feed their families each and every day.

This year, you’ll also hear from our keynote speaker, A.B. Stoddard, a political writer and commentator who has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox and ABC News, who will offer a nonpartisan perspective of the political landscape of the day and our nation’s upcoming elections.

The next day, after a breakfast briefing, you’ll hit the Hill for a day of meetings, then close with a Congressional networking reception.

“I love the networking, getting to know other retailers and passionate grocery industry professionals,” says Charley, who has this advice for fly-in first-timers: “It’s natural to be nervous the first time you do something like this. Talk to the other retailers and personnel that are there. We are a team. There are many people who are seasoned pros at this, and we are there to help you succeed. Also, do your homework, get comfortable with the material and know the background of the members you are meeting with. It always helps to be more knowledgeable.”

To keep up the momentum when you get back home after the fly-in, NGA’s team can help you schedule store visits with your local representatives in Congress, so they can see firsthand the impact you have on your community and the challenges you face in doing business. This one-on-one contact with policymakers is turning out to be a winning formula in garnering support for issues important to independent grocers and their communities.

Find more information about the Fly-In for Fair Competition at https://www.nationalgrocers.org/m/flyin/.

Read more association news at The Shelby Report.

About the author

Greg Ferrara

President and CEO of NGA

Greg Ferrara is the President and CEO of NGA. The National Grocers Association is the trade association representing the U.S. independent community supermarket industry. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Featured Photos

Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap