Washington, DC — April 4, 2001 — The Food Marketing Institute today announced that all U.S. retailers affiliated with IGA are now able to enjoy FMI member benefits through a program designed to broaden training for independent grocers in all aspects of supermarket operations and management.

IGA is using FMI educational materials and support to launch the curriculum for the U.S. division of its university, a global network of training programs. In this initiative, every domestic IGA retailer is receiving access to FMI’s extensive research and information resources, discounted fees for publications and conferences, networking opportunities, support in government and communications programs, and many other benefits.

“We are delighted to welcome IGA into the FMI family,” said Institute President and CEO Tim Hammonds. “IGA retailers help set the industry standard for innovation, customer service and community support. As they use FMI training resources, we know they will help us improve them.

“We also look forward to providing IGA retailers FMI services in vital areas such as human resources, food safety and public affairs. Numerous Institute services are already tailored to the needs of independents because family-owned retailers have always made up the largest part of FMI’s member base. The Institute recently consolidated these resources to be managed by a special Independent Operator Division.”

In commenting on the expanded alliance with FMI, IGA Chairman and CEO Dr. Thomas S. Haggai said, “14 years ago, FMI was instrumental in IGA’s revitalization as a global supermarketer. Now IGA is in the middle of a record year domestically and internationally. We want to bring our independent retailers tomorrow’s ideas today, so it is only appropriate that we take the next step with FMI and solidify our partnership further.

“After making the decision to strengthen our alliance with FMI, we are further encouraged that FMI Senior Vice President Michael Sansolo has taken on the responsibility as President of the Institute’s new Independent Operator Division. Michael has always fought for the independent, and we are extremely pleased that his focus will be solidly on the future of this important market sector.”

“FMI brings a wealth of benefits to IGA’s retailers. In addition to its world-class training materials and courses, FMI brings a strong presence in lobbying the government on industry issues, and it provides a broad variety of information presented in a manner that’s relevant to a retailer’s business.”

IGA’s 1,300 retailers operate more than 1,700 supermarkets in the United States.