Independent Grocers Advocate for a Level Playing Field During Fly-In for Fair Competition

June 9, 2022

NGA Members Hold Over 100 Meetings with Members of Congress,

Calling for Enforcement of the Robinson-Patman Act to End Economic Discrimination in the Food Sector

Washington, D.C. –  The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent grocery industry, yesterday concluded a successful Fly-In for Fair Competition.

Focused on leveling the playing field in the grocery industry by calling for enforcement of the Robinson-Patman Act, grocers engaged with Congressional offices about the importance of acting now to resolve dominant food retailers’ anti-competitive tactics.

“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 Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO. “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.”

The two-day event started on Tuesday with the NGA Government Relations Committee meeting, during which attendees discussed issues important to independent grocers and plans to advocate for policies that will benefit the independent supermarket industry. The committee was joined by newly confirmed FTC Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya, who discussed FTC’s antitrust priorities and actions. Additionally, committee members discussed the 2023 Farm Bill with key congressional staff, specifically focusing on SNAP 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 SVP 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. I would like to thank the NGA members who made the trip and we look forward to using the momentum gained from the last two days to advocate for a competitive marketplace.”

Day two kicked off with attendees hearing from antitrust reform champion, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) during a breakfast session. Klobuchar discussed the importance of enforcing antitrust laws and heard from grocers about how lack of such enforcement hurts their businesses and the communities they serve. After breakfast, grocers made their way to the halls of Congress to make their voices heard, meeting with numerous lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

NGA members’ next chance to meet with federal representatives will occur over two days from Oct. 24-26 during the Executive Conference & Public Policy Summit, an event designed for c-suite executives and their leadership teams to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace through in-depth forecasts on the future of the industry.