Chicago, IL — May 6, 2001 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD) announced today that they are forming an alliance to promote food safety, technological innovation, joint research and education, and other cooperative efforts throughout North America. Through the alliance, FMI and CCGD members will receive all the benefits and services available from both groups.

“We’ve had a long and productive relationship with CCGD, including our joint advocacy of free trade in North America, consumer research and food safety programs,” said FMI President and CEO Tim Hammonds. “This pact formalizes that bond. And it gives us tremendous opportunities to pursue joint initiatives critical to the success of an industry that serves more than 310 million customers in North America.

“The timing could not be better. In the area of food safety alone, for example, we can harmonize government policies and industry practices. We’re already working together in educating the public about food safety since our Fight BAC!TM program was introduced in Canada last year. Together, we can broaden education about biotechnology and help ensure that the U.S. and Canadian governments adopt common policies to regulate such foods.”

“Because of similarities in issues facing both organizations, this formal CCGD/FMI alliance will support us in achieving our common and individual objectives,” said CCGD President and CEO Nick Jennery, “as we share experience and intelligence and pool resources to allow important initiatives such as the development of North American standards for food safety, technology and commerce and for biotechnology, just to name a few. It will also support us on global benchmarking and for a greatly enhanced electronic information pool to benefit members on both sides of the border.”

Under the alliance, both associations will remain separate entities and continue all programs that serve member needs specific to the primary countries each group represents.

A joint committee of leaders from both groups will develop an agenda of initiatives and policies that CCGD and FMI can pursue together.

Both Hammonds and Jennery described the new CCGD-FMI relationship as a “strategic alliance,” reflecting that industries increasingly operate in a borderless world. Food distributors everywhere share many common concerns and challenges, as do consumers in the emerging global marketplace. By working in concert, associations from different countries can support one another, greatly broaden member benefits and help the industry keep pace with the fast-changing global economy.