National Grocers Association emphasizes competition during fly-in

The National Grocers Association, a trade association representing the independent grocery industry, focused its fly-in last week on leveling the playing field in the grocery industry by calling for enforcement of the Robinson-Patman Act, the group said in a news release.

The group called its annual event the “Fly-in for Fair Competition” and on Tuesday also sent Michael Gay, a grocer from Claxton, Ga., to represent it at an event on competition issues facing agriculture sponsored by the Open Markets Institute and Farm Action.

“America’s independent grocers played a crucial role for communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, staying on the frontlines serving their customers; however, during this period of time, attention was drawn to the discrimination community grocers have faced for many years, as federal agencies failed to enforce existing antitrust laws already on the books,” said NGA President and CEO Greg Ferrara. “This discriminatory conduct hurts independent grocers and the communities they serve – this is why NGA members made the trip to Washington, D.C., this week to demand action now.”

During their fly-in, the grocers met with Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya, had breakfast with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and met with numerous lawmakers including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the group said. Additionally, committee members discussed the 2023 farm bill with key congressional staff, specifically focusing on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and food access.

“Federal laws already exist to prevent the kind of economic discrimination we are seeing across the country, but have not been enforced in a generation,” said Chris Jones, NGA senior vice president of government relations and counsel. “NGA’s Fly-In for Fair Competition was essential so that decision makers in Washington, D.C., could see firsthand how lack of antitrust enforcement is hurting their main street businesses.”


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