By Jennifer Hatcher, Chief Public Policy Officer and SVP, Government Relations, FMI

Spring is always a great time to see FMI’s advocacy efforts in action. Last week, we hosted our first in-person Day in Washington event since 2019, and attendees were thrilled to be back meeting with elected officials again to educate them on the pressing issues facing our industry. We saw approximately 50 FMI members participate, with strong representation across retailers, wholesalers and product suppliers, demonstrating the strength and breadth of our membership with lawmakers. 

We met with dozens of Hill offices, including a number of members of Congress themselves. We focused on four issues this year – credit card competition, Farm Bill reauthorization, the FDA’s food traceability rule, and pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) reform.

FMI Member with Rep. McGovernFMI members and staff with Rep. Jim McGovern (center). 

FMI Members with Rep. Jackson

FMI members and staff with Rep. Jonathan Jackson (center).

I also had the honor last week of participating in a panel discussion at the African American Mayors Association (AAMA) Annual Meeting titled, “Working Across Sectors to Provide Access to Affordable and Healthy Food and Beverage Options.” The panel was moderated by Joshua Dubois, CEO of Gauge and included panelists Franklin Davis, Vice President, Federal Government Relations, American Beverage Association; Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, Chair Elect of AAMA and Mayor of Mt. Vernon, NY; and Ty Jones Cox, Vice President of Food Assistance, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Our group discussed why it is important to look for a variety of solutions to improve food access as well as the need to focus on incentivizing people to choose healthier options.

Hatcher at AAMA meeting

From left: Joshua Dubois, Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, Franklin Davis, Jennifer Hatcher, and Ty Jones Cox.