ARLINGTON, VA — March 15, 2011 — Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative and the wholesale, merchandising and distribution arm for ShopRite and PriceRite supermarkets throughout the Northeast, sent a letter to United States Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) urging them to continue their support for debit card interchange fee reforms passed by Congress last year. Wakefern Food is a member of the Food Marketing Institute.

“Supermarket retail is an extremely low-margin, highly competitive industry in which we compete for customers on price and service everyday, and we are confident our customers will be the ultimate beneficiaries of these reforms,” said the letter signed by Wakefern Chairman and CEO Joseph Colalillo and more than two dozen other executives.

Congress directed the Federal Reserve to issue rules to ensure that debit swipe fees are reasonable and proportional to the processing costs incurred. The Federal Reserve is expected to issue their final debit card reforms in April.

The letter requests that the Senators continue to support Main Street businesses and consumers by ensuring reforms go into effect on time this year. Please click here to view the Wakefern letter.

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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.