CHICAGO, IL — May 4, 2002 — The Board of Directors of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today approved a plan to join FMI’s food retail and wholesale members with the grocery wholesale members of Food Distributors International (FDI).

“As trade relations and public policy issues increasingly cut across industry lines, FMI and FDI realized that merging our organizations makes sense. This action will enable us to capitalize on our strengths and provide more strategic solutions for our members,” remarked Tim Hammonds, FMI president and CEO.

Under the plan, subject to ratification by FDI’s membership, FDI’s wholesale grocery member companies will join an umbrella organization with members of the Food Marketing Institute. FDI president John R. Block will serve as President of the new FMI Wholesale Division and as executive vice president at FMI. The division will be represented by a Wholesale Advisory Board of Directors under the overall association governing Board, with its own slate of officers, Chairman, President and Committees. This will be reflected in the FMI bylaws.

To ensure the priorities of the wholesaler segment receive full consideration under the merged association, the FDI Chairman and immediate Past Chairman will serve on FMI’s Executive Committee and additional FDI wholesale board members will be added to the FMI Board.
The agreement will be effective January 1, 2003, and beginning on this date:

  • FDI’s Midyear Executive Conference will be merged in to the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference.
  • FDI’s Productivity Convention held each fall will continue on its current schedule, and FMI will form an advisory committee from its Distribution Conference committee to seek a consolidation of the two events.
  • FDI’s annual Vendex and Business Conference held each Spring will continue on its current schedule.
  • FMI’s entire membership will be encouraged to participate in both the Annual Business Conference and the Annual Productivity Convention.
  • FDI’s magazine and associate member program will be integrated into the combined association.
  • The annual Thomas Jefferson awards will be jointly sponsored by FMI and IFDA.

All FMI and FDI programs and events will proceed as scheduled through the rest of this year.