Supermarket industry media reported yesterday that theFood Marketing Institute (FMI) and theGrocery Manufacturers Association(GMA) signed a "joint memorandum of understanding" to consider merging their annual executive conferences beginning  in 2010 or 2011.  FMI Chairman Steve Smith (president and CEO of K-VA-T Food Stores) said groups want to eliminate industry duplication and improve trading partner collaboration. Smith's comment came during FMI's Midwinter Executive Conference in Orlando. GMA's executive event is scheduled for Aug. 30-Sept. 1 in Colorado Springs.
FMI, Arlington, Va., represents approximately 1,500 food retailers and wholesalers worldwide. GMA, Washington, D.C., represents the nation's consumer packaged goods manufacturers.