ARLINGTON, VA - April 30, 2009 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) issued the following statement from Leslie G. Sarasin, president and chief executive officer, regarding today’s decision to postpone the Future Connect leadership development conference scheduled for May 4-6 and the MARKETECHNICS® technology event May 5-8, in Dallas, TX.

"It is with a deep regret that, due to the recent influenza outbreak, I share FMI’s decision to postpone our Future Connect and MARKETECHNICS® events, which were scheduled to occur next week in Dallas."

"The increased urgency of the alerts from health officials today and the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services confirmed our decision to not host a large gathering where attendees would be in close proximity. We seek to support their recommended precautions and prevention steps and would not want to contribute to spread of the virus in any way."

"We agonized over this difficult and critical decision, but are certain that the number one priority of America’s food retailers, wholesalers and suppliers right now is to look out for the health and safety of their customers, employees and the communities they serve across the country and around the globe."

"In particular, we recognize that Future Connect is a program about leadership, and at this time our industry’s leaders must be in their communities actively engaged in a time of potential crisis."

"FMI is focused on assisting our members in their efforts to communicate with consumers about the influenza outbreak. Consumer information is available on our website at:"

"We are evaluating our options for rescheduling these events and will look forward to sharing more details about the plans for holding these events in the near future."


Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conducts programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations on behalf of its 1,500 member companies — food retailers and wholesalers — in the United States and around the world. FMI’s U.S. members operate approximately 26,000 retail food stores and 14,000 pharmacies. Their combined annual sales volume of $680 billion represents three-quarters of all retail food store sales in the United States. FMI’s retail membership is composed of large multi-store chains, regional firms and independent supermarkets. Its international membership includes 200 companies from more than 50 countries. FMI’s associate members include the supplier partners of its retail and wholesale members.