Industry Affairs

Creating New Opportunities to Compete More Effectively

NGA's Industry Relations department provides support for independent grocers on the latest trading partner issues while creating forums that lead to new opportunities with manufacturers, service suppliers and wholesalers that help independents grow their business. Collaborate on key issues, solve business challenges, and learn about the new developments in technology, health and wellness, traceability, data security, and beyond.

Advocating for a Stronger, Committed Industry

Understanding what is on the horizon is exceedingly important in protecting a strong, vibrant industry that offers opportunity for innovation. By monitoring trends and issues, NGA is proactive in identifying opportunities and averting or minimizing potential problems. We gather information and knowledge about these issues and, when appropriate, lead an effort with our key partners from the industry and association worlds to address them. The following are key issues that NGA has been engaged in this year.

PCI / Data Security 

Association Coalition for Transactional Data Security
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements designed to ensure that ALL companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment; essentially any merchant that has a Merchant ID (MID). 

The Coalition for Data Security seeking to address PCI Compliance through legislative/administrative means, create technology roadmap for the industry to follow and develop an education center with coalition partners for the benefit of our members.


GS1 DataBar / Coupons 

Implementation of the GS1 DataBar
For the past couple years, coupons have been in an interim phase where the format has contained both the UPC A and the GS1 DataBar bar codes. The GS1 DataBar is a newly designed bar code that will maintain more data and help manufacturers and retailers to better validate purchases.  January 2011 marked the implementation date which started a 6-8 month phase in period of removing the old UPC A bar code and the emergence of a DataBar-only coupon. While many large manufacturers have delayed implementation of the DataBar-only coupon to allow the retail industry more time to ready their systems to scan the new bar code, most will be ready to move or will have moved to DataBar-only coupons by the end of 2011 or early 2012.

For an overview, please visit the GS1 DataBar website

Joint Industry Coupon Committee
NGA, as a member of the Joint Industry Coupon Committee (JICC) has been working to revamp the Coupon Guidelines with updated information on standards, digital coupons and fraud and counterfeit coupon deterrence. In conjunction with the Coupon Information Corporation, NGA sends Fraudulent Coupon Alerts to members warning of new fraudulent and counterfeit coupons in the marketplace with information how to spot them before they are redeemed.

JICC Voluntary Guidelines for Digital Coupons: Updated with Paperless Invoice Standards

View past Fraudulent Coupon Alerts

Food Safety / Traceability 

Food Safety Modernization Act
On January 4, 2011, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law to focus federal regulators on prevention.  NGA made a 12-part webinar series offered by The Food Institute and Olsen, Frank, Weeda Law Firm available at special pricing to members. The webinar series explored the FDA rules governing preventive controls and the most effective and efficient way to keep food safe.  NGA has also joined the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Industry Coalition with the Grocery Manufacturer Association and other industry stakeholders to regularly share information and activities underway with respect to FSMA.   NGA is working with industry leaders and the FDA in devising the implementation of those rules.  

View more information on NGA and Food Safety

Partnership for Food Safety Education
NGA has recently joined the Partnership for Food Safety Education as a sponsoring partner and will attend the first meeting on February 7th. The Partnership’s mission is to end illness and death from foodborne infection in the United States. The organization was formed in 1997 in response to an independent panel report which called for a national public-private partnership to educate the public about safe food handling and preparation and supports health educators and influencers by making their work more visible, collaborative, and effective.

View the website for the Partnership for Food Safety Education 

Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI)
The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), sponsored the various produce associations, is designed to help the industry maximize the effectiveness of current traceback procedures, while developing a standardized industry approach to enhance the speed and efficiency of traceability systems for the future. The PTI timeline outlines a course of action to achieve supply chain-wide adoption of electronic traceability of every case of produce by the year 2012. With the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act, it has become more urgent for all players in the country’s food supply chain be able to quickly trace from whom they received a food product and to whom they sent it. PTI uses GS1 standards to track and trace products and currently the industry is working towards a series of milestones that will eventually enable scanning of all inbound and outbound cases of produce. Various retailers and wholesalers, including NGA members, have partnered with growers & packers to conduct trials with the new system. 

Visit The Produce Traceability Initiative for a complete overview and to see webinars and best practices in achieving traceability. 


Contact Information

Brian Lynch
Vice President of Industry Relations

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