The National Grocers Association and the United Fresh Produce Association are working together to connect produce distributors and independent supermarkets.
“The entire food industry has come together incredibly during the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, ensuring that Americans across the country have access to affordable and nutritious food,” NGA president and CEO Greg Ferrara said in a news release. “Our collaboration with United Fresh will improve upon what has already been accomplished, keeping independent grocers stocked with fresh produce.”
Measures to slow the spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19 have included banning gatherings, asking companies to have employees work from home, closing non-essential businesses, and limiting restaurants to takeout or delivery. As a result, retail demand has skyrocketed, and foodservice demand has plummeted.
With this dynamic in mind, as restaurants and other foodservice companies are forced to furlough workers and supermarkets need more workers to help restock and operate stores doing much higher volumes than usual, companies have been partnering to help each out. Albertsons is collaborating with 17 companies including Hilton and Marriott, and C&S Wholesale Grocers has begun working with US Foods.
NGA and United are looking to help create more mutually beneficial alliances by connecting independent grocers with distributors who can deliver “on a store-door basis.” The organizations plans to work with companies to assess their needs and get them connected.
“The fresh produce industry is committed to continuing to feed America,” United Fresh president and CEO Tom Stenzel said in the release. “Foodservice distributors and processors have strong capabilities to deliver product, transportation and supply chain solutions in these unprecedented times. We’re pleased to partner with NGA, working in tandem to get more fresh, healthy produce items in the hands of consumers.”