The Independent Natural Food Retailers Association (INFRA) said Thursday that it had entered into a partnership with distributor United Natural Foods Inc. to service a group of independent retailers in the Northwest.


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Initiating a regional agreement has long been a goal of the INFRA board of directors, the retailer-owned buying cooperative said, adding that the organization has been examining such opportunities for three years.

“We are excited to enter into this partnership with UNFI. We appreciate the alignment between our two organizations and the willingness for UNFI to work with INFRA on a unique agreement that takes into consideration our members’ independence,” Corinne Shindelar, CEO of INFRA, said in a statement. By creating this partnership, participating INFRA members will improve their purchasing position and have a platform that is flexible enough to support innovation.

The decision to launch in the Northwest region was based on the concentration of membership in the region and the level of collaboration these retailers have reached through their engagement in INFRA.

UNFI is a distributor based in Providence, R.I.

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