NEW YORK -- The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, owner of the Fancy Food Shows, and the Chicago-based Specialty Food Distributors & Manufacturers Association recently formed a strategic alliance that will combine and integrate many of the operations and functions of the SFDMA within the NASFT.
"The NASFT is delighted to make distributors an even bigger part of our membership and programs," said John Roberts, NASFT president. "This alliance will further strengthen the NASFT's ability to continue to represent all segments of the specialty food industry, including manufacturers, importers, retailers and distributors."
The SFDMA has decided to close its conference and trade show, traditionally held in early January. The NASFT will work to continue successful programs from that show, such as the supplier/distributor interview sessions and educational programs, at the Fancy Food Shows, which take place each year in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City. The spring show will be held March 25 to 27 in Chicago.
The NASFT has established a Distributor Council, which consists of the board members of the SFDMA. Working with the NASFT board of directors and staff, the council will evaluate all SFDMA programs and determine how they can be operated by the NASFT. A meeting of the Council and NASFT was held Jan. 23, during which many of these programs were discussed and additional means of cooperation outlined.
"Some of the things they are looking at are: waiting time, when a truck pulls up at a store and has to sit there for 30 minutes, that can cause problems; and reclamation is another one," said Ron Tanner, vice president, communications, NASFT.
"By working together with the manufacturers, distributors and retailers, we think we can help alleviate these problems, which keep the flow of goods from being as smooth as it could be," Tanner said. "And there are specific projects that we are trying to develop."