WASHINGTON, DC — July 31, 2001— Three major food retailing companies are joining Food Marketing Institute (FMI) in a supermarket industry pavilion at the annual National Urban League (NUL) conference being held here through August 1.

“FMI is pleased to return to the National Urban League conference for the 10th straight year,” notes Jackson Davis, FMI’s director of urban affairs and publications sales. “This event provides exhibiting FMI member companies and our industry a chance to reach career-minded professionals and communities that we may not be reaching through conventional sources.”

The exhibiting supermarket companies, all FMI members, are: Ahold USA, Inc.; Safeway, Inc.; and Wakefern Food Corp.

“The National Urban League conference is an ideal forum for promoting professional opportunities in food retailing,” said Henry Edwards, vice president, organizational effectiveness at Ahold USA, Inc. “We are thrilled to return with FMI to show the industry’s support of diversity recruiting programs.”

"We are excited to be part of the National Urban League convention with FMI and other retailers," said Brian Dowling, vice president of public affairs at Safeway, Inc. "This event provides an ideal forum for promoting the great career opportunities available in the food retail industry."

FMI and its pavilion partners are promoting supermarket industry careers. Each of the organizations has a separate booth with meeting space in the career fair area. Company recruiters are present to discuss the many professional opportunities that now exist in food retailing and to answer visitor questions.

"This is the third year Wakefern Food Corporation / ShopRite Supermarkets
has participated in the National Urban League Conference,” said Kyle Ledford, Wakefern’s human resources division. “We've enjoyed a successful partnership with the Urban Leagues of New Jersey and Philadelphia and are looking forward to participating in this year's conference."

The National Urban League expects 15,000 people to attend the conference this year, including opinion leaders from private industry, labor, academia, government, nonprofit agencies and churches nationwide. More than 200 of the nation’s Fortune 500 companies, as well as social service, community-based and government agencies, exhibit at the conference trade show.

FMI introduced the supermarket industry pavilion at the 1991 NUL conference and has since been a regular participant. FMI continues to expand its diversity programming initiative, which now includes a supplier diversity program at the annual FMI convention; training manuals; a share group for African-American retailers, and frequent participation in national events such as the NUL conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)convention, the National Council of La Raza Conference, and the annual convention of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.