F.P.A. and G.M.A. agree in principle to merge organizations

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — In a move expected to create a "powerhouse association" working on behalf of food companies, the board of directors of the Food Products Association (F.P.A.) and the executive committee of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (G.M.A.) on Friday said they have agreed in principle to merge the two organizations effective Jan. 1, 2007. The merger will not be fully ratified until G.M.A.’s board of directors considers and votes on the terms of the agreement at its June board meeting and the general membership of the F.P.A. and the G.M.A. approve.

The groups also decided that, if given the green light, the merged organization will be headed by Cal Dooley, currently president and c.e.o. of the F.P.A. Manly Molpus, who is president and c.e.o. of the G.M.A., will follow through on his previously announced plans to retire on Dec. 31, 2006.

"F.P.A.’s board believes this merger will create a powerhouse association working on behalf of large and small food and non-food companies, while preserving the science mission of F.P.A. that has been the core of its existence since the association’s founding in 1907," said Reid MacDonald, chairman of the F.P.A.’s board of directors and president and c.e.o. of Faribault Foods.

Richard Lenny, chairman of the G.M.A. and president and c.e.o. of The Hershey Co., congratulated the leadership of the two groups for taking such a bold step.

"This merger brings together two very effective advocacy organizations and complements the exceptional public policy and industry affairs work G.M.A. has conducted on behalf of its members since 1908," Mr. Lenny said.

The combined organization will be known as G.M.A./F.P.A. for the first year, after which it will be known as the G.M.A. G.M.A./F.P.A. would represent nearly 300 member companies from every sector of the food, beverage and consumer products industry.

"This merger will create an organization that offers even greater value to food, beverage and consumer products companies," Mr. Cooley said. "It will bring the best of both F.P.A. and G.M.A. into a single trade association, offering new services and expertise to all members and providing unsurpassed scientific, public policy and industry affairs representation to member companies."

The F.P.A. is the largest trade association serving the food and beverage industry in the United States and worldwide. The F.P.A.’s laboratory centers, scientists and professional staff provide technical and regulatory assistance to member companies and represent the food industry on scientific and public policy issues involving food safety, food security, nutrition, consumer affairs and international trade.

The G.M.A. represents the world’s leading branded food, beverage and consumer products companies. Since 1908, the G.M.A. has been an advocate for its members on public policy issues and has championed initiatives to increase industry-wide productivity and growth. G.M.A. member companies employ more than 2.5 million workers in all 50 states and account for more than $680 billion in global annual sales.

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