United Fresh, NGA partner to strengthen produce distribution and accessibility
In an effort to connect produce distributors and retailers, the National Grocer's Association (NGA) and United Fresh Produce Association announced Wednesday a new partnership.
With the goal of unifying the food industry, the two forces have come together during the Covid-19 outbreak to "ensure that Americans across the country have access to affordable and nutritious food," said NGA president Greg Ferrara in a statement.
New measures include connecting produce distributors who deliver fresh produce and other food items with independent supermarkets across the U.S.
Earlier this week, United Fresh called upon U.S. Congress to supply aid to the fresh produce sector that it says is likely to face losses adding up to over US$5bn.
Being the second recent step that the organization has taken to mitigate potential ramifications from the pandemic, both have acknowledged the role of challenges faced by foodservice distributors in particular.
It requested on Monday that both the USDA and U.S. government generally provide relief funds to distributors who have outstanding expenditures.
Now, with NGA, both are working to make sure that independent grocers are supplied with fresh produce despite the huge shift in consumer buying habits.
As things move away from restaurant sales and into the retail sector for food, the alliance hopes that it can help mitigate this big change so as to lessen any negative impacts.
Overall, NGA and United Fresh say that the produce industry at large is "committed to continuing to feed America".
Further, as detailed by United Fresh's president Tom Stenzel, the industry seeks to maintain operations that ensure that "foodservice distributors and processors have strong capabilities to deliver product, transportation and supply chain solutions in these unprecedented times".