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Strengthening the Specialty Food Industry: Specialty Food Association & Food Marketing Institute Announce Alliance

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NEW YORK, May 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Specialty Food Association (SFA) and Food Marketing Institute (FMI) have announced the launch of a strategic partnership focused on the $127 billion specialty food category.

This relationship will bring together SFA and FMI members to strengthen business development, engage in food safety training, and increase understanding of the growing specialty food industry. The segment offers high-quality, unique products that cater to an increasingly adventurous shopper.

“Specialty foods outpace their non-specialty counterparts in nearly every category, presenting a unique opportunity for a wide variety of retailers and foodservice operators to increase sales,” SFA President Phil Kafarakis said. “SFA looks forward to partnering with FMI in business-building programs with our respective members. We believe this strategic partnership will have a positive impact throughout the industry.”

FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin commented on the partnership saying, “Consumer trends point to continued specialty and organic growth, so it’s imperative that the food retail industry meet this consumer need, while making the necessary investment to secure the food supply by building trusting relationships with specialty product trading partners.”

The SFA’s Summer Fancy Food Show will serve as the stage for the launch of this SFA-FMI relationship. FMI members are invited to attend the new SFA LevelUP attraction at the Show and participate in a customized buyers program with SFA manufacturers – Biz Builders 1:1. The program brings pre-matched buyers and sellers together for one-on-one meetings just prior to the Fancy Food Show, creating sales opportunities that are tailored to each.

Another critical tier for this relationship is awareness building for FMI’s Safe Quality Foods (SQF) Institute Certification programs for manufacturers and the FMI SafeMark™ for retailers. Sarasin noted, “Food retailers are well positioned within their customers’ circle of trust when it comes to food safety and supporting shoppers’ health and wellness goals, so our partnership with SFA is supported by a responsible commitment to evolve and explore new territory that keeps the shopper’s confidence top of mind.”

Food safety experts from FMI will lead educational opportunities at the SFA’s Summer Fancy Food Show, sharing trends in food safety and outlining how new technology affects food safety, brand protection, and consumer confidence.

Kafarakis said, “Engaging FMI members directly in LevelUP and Biz Builders 1:1, and SFA members with core food safety principles will immediately elevate the level of authority at the Summer Show and be a great kick off for the partnership.”

More information on the SFA Fancy Food Show, including details on the LevelUP attraction, are at fancyfoodshows.com. The show is a trade-only event. Journalists who cover the specialty food industry may apply for press credentials. Click here to apply.

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About FMI
Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores. For more information, visit www.fmi.org and for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit www.fmifoundation.org.

About SFA
The Specialty Food Association is a thriving community of food artisans, purveyors, importers and entrepreneurs who bring craft, care and joy to the distinctive foods they sell. Established in 1952 in New York, the not-for-profit trade association provides its 3,600+ members in the U.S. and abroad the tools, knowledge and connections to champion and nurture their companies in an always-evolving marketplace. The Association (formerly the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc.) owns and produces the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows, and presents the sofi™ Awards honoring excellence in specialty food. www.specialtyfood.com

SOURCE Specialty Food Association

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