2016, One for the Books Dec 19, 2016 By: Leslie G. Sarasin, President and CEO, Food Marketing Institute It is a given that each year is a bit different from the others, marked by singular events that make it unique. However, some years ring with particularities and surprising incidents that make it stand out even more from the rest because of its unusual qualities. In my estimation, 2016 is just such a year, a notch above the others for the surprises it held and deserving of the moniker, unlike the rest. Case in point, if twelve months ago my 2015 end of year report had contained the prediction that Donald Trump would be elected president, most of you would have given me gift cards for a psychiatric exam and reality check. Yet, here we are, having concluded 2016, hearing about cabinet picks and inauguration plans for President-elect Trump. Even when we move from the national level to specific food retail industry concerns, 2016 held its fair share of quirkiness. Achieving congressional passage of a biotech labeling law was a demanding adventure with many plot twists and eccentric moments. In fact, it was such a big deal that it was included in The Hill’s list of Top 10 Lobbying Victories of 2016. Other efforts, including those directed toward such issues as menu labeling, FSMA compliance, animal welfare concerns, revamping our event strategy and other challenges, contributed their own novel quirks to 2016’s distinct character. 2016 was truly a year unlike the rest. Just as a prism takes a single ray of light and splinters it into its constituent spectral colors, to help make as much sense as we can of 2016, FMI is approaching its end of year reporting by breaking the year into 13 different spectrums of activity. Over the course of the following pages, you will view 2016 from the unique perspective of our different departments and covering the following topic areas: Government and Public Affairs Food Safety Voice of Food Retail; Communications, Consumer and Community Affairs Emerging Issues and Research Education and FMI Events Total Store Collaboration Membership FMI Foundation and Health and Wellness Fresh Foods Sustainability Supply Chain Private Brands SQF – Safe Quality Food Institute These individual blogs will be archived singularly, but they will also be compiled in a single document available on the FMI website as our 2016 Year in Review. We wish you much merriment as we bring the year to a close and hope you enjoy our prismatic view of 2016.