On Thursday, the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) and FMI-Food Industry Association announced an ad-hoc partnership motivated by widespread consumer needs fueled by the coronavirus pandemic. The partnership is a matching program that connects foodservice distributors that have excess capacity (products, transportation services, warehousing services) to assist food retailers and wholesalers that require additional resources to fulfill needs at grocery stores, which are experiencing skyrocketing demand.
Food industry experts have indicated the demand for food, water and cleaning products over the course of recent weeks has exceeded any previous shopping holiday season, which has caused retailers to experience delays between replenishment.
However, many local and state governments have recommended or mandated closing restaurants, schools and other businesses that are supported by the foodservice distribution industry. While food industry resources are stretched to capacity, foodservice distribution resources are in need of economic sustainability. This partnership will not only fill a crucial gap, but will also serve the American population from one end of the country to the other.
“Our industries are both committed to the safe delivery of food to consumers and we are equipped to provide service during this critical time in our country,” IFDA president and CEO Mark Allen says. “This partnership makes sense and it is in these times of turmoil that we must step up and fill the gaps when we can to help each other where we can.”
“These are unprecedented times with unprecedented needs, but if we can think in terms of partnerships and problem solving, we can get through this together,” FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin adds. “We are committed to replenishing supplies, but we know it will take cooperation, patience and consistency to deliver results.”