To help ensure that supply disruptions caused by the coronavirus do not prevent fresh fruits and vegetables from reaching supermarkets, the National Grocers Association (NGA) and the United Fresh Produce Association have teamed up to link the distributors of products to retailers.
NGA and United Fresh said Wednesday that they will work with companies – including the food service industry – to assess their retail needs and provide a networking opportunity on business solutions.
NGA represents the retail and wholesale grocers that make up the independent grocery industry. United Fresh serves companies from all segments of the fresh supply chain, including producers, shippers, fresh processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, food service operators, suppliers industry and related associations.
“The entire food industry came together incredibly during the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19), ensuring Americans across the country have access to affordable and nutritious food,” said the president and chief of NGA management Greg Ferrara in a statement. “Our collaboration with United Fresh will enhance what has already been accomplished, by keeping independent grocery stores stocked with fresh produce.”
Through this collaboration, NGA and United Fresh will focus on connecting fruit and vegetable distributors who can deliver fresh produce and other items to independent grocers on a store door basis.
“The fresh produce industry is determined to continue to feed America. Food service distributors and processors have strong capabilities to provide product, transportation and supply chain solutions in these unprecedented times, ”said Tom Stenzel, President and CEO of United Fresh. “We are delighted to partner with NGA, working in tandem to put more fresh and healthy products in the hands of consumers.”
The food and grocery sectors were classified by the federal government as “essential and essential infrastructure” as part of the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. In turn, industry trade groups have come together to keep the food supply chain running and mitigate the impact on consumers, their businesses and the economy.
Last week, for example, the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) unveiled a partnership with FMI-The Food Industry Association direct surplus resources to the grocery sector. As part of a matching program, food service distributors with unused capacity – including products, transportation and storage services – will be linked to food retailers and wholesalers looking for more supply and support as consumers flock to grocery stores to stock up as they prepare to take shelter at home. The ad hoc alliance also fills a gap by providing $ 280 billion in economic sustainability to the food service distribution industry.
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