To many, "FMI" is an annual trade show featuring aisles filled with dazzling exhibits, educational workshops offering the most up-to-date ideas on how to manage businesses efficiently and social events providing the chance to make new friends.
But FMI is far more than that.
As the largest trade association of its kind, FMI offers its members a diversity of services that range from helping the small independent operation remain competitive, to assisting wholesalers to develop the latest distribution systems, to identifying consumer attitudes toward food safety, solid waste, new products and the like.
FMI can most easily be defined by taking a look at a sampling of just a few of the many services it has provided its members:
Food Safety: As consumer concern about food safety has increased, FMI has responded by developing strong programs to help restore consumer confidence. A special task force has been created to develop a four-part strategic plan to strengthen consumer confidence in the safety of the food supply, develop programs to help reduce foodborne illness, provide consumers with knowledge on how to select nutritious and wholesome food, and develop public policies that will improve the safety of our food supply.
Human Resources: The food industry is faced with the growing challenge of recruiting and retaining a strong work force. In response, FMI has developed new human resources programs and publications designed to help its members meet the challenges of the changing workforce. Several FMI educational conferences help improve skills of store managers by showing them new ways to improve employee retention through motivational, leadership and problem-solving methods.
Industry Relations: FMI works with a variety of joint industry committees to seek ways to enhance the relationships that exist amongst retailers, wholesalers and a wide array of suppliers. By doing this we ensure that the entire system works most advantageously for all. The most visible effort currently underway is Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) – an industry wide initiative to examine the entire supply chain to eliminate waste and inefficiency and to produce a more responsive system for consumers.
Environmental Affairs: The complex issue of solid waste is at the forefront of environmental concerns and, in response, FMI has developed several programs to help the food industry. FMI has taken the lead in calling for industry commitment to recyclable packaging that does not compromise food safety, in-store recycling programs, and employee and customer education programs.
New Technologies: New services and products not traditionally found in supermarkets are now beginning to appear that enhance merchandising and make store operations more efficient. FMI provides a wide array of programs and services that help retailers and wholesalers stay on the cutting edge of new technologies in areas such as automated labor scheduling, product ordering, shelf setting, computer-to-computer communications and its application to direct store delivery, coupon scanning, and the many software programs that supermarkets use to streamline and enhance their operations.
Urban Initiatives: Following the civil unrest in Los Angeles in 1992, FMI convened the Urban Initiatives Task Force charged with recommending ways for the supermarket industry to broaden and strengthen its participation in neglected communities. The task force fosters the revitalization of communities through public-private partnerships involving coalitions of business, community and government leaders; identifies and promotes model community support programs in areas such as education, job training, mentoring and store development; highlights proactive programs for youth at risk to enhance their education and employment opportunities; and, motivates members of the food industry to organize, participate in and support such programs and activities.
To find out more information, you can e-mail FMI Employment or fax your resume to 202/220-0881. FMI is an equal opportunity employer.
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