NGA Honors U.S. Senator Susan Collins with Champion of Independent Grocers Award

October 19, 2016

Arlington, VA – The National Grocers Association (NGA) presented U.S. Senator Susan Collins of Maine with its Champion of Independent Grocers Award in recognition of her efforts to advance pro-growth policies and enact legislation that supports the independent supermarket industry.  The award was presented in conjunction with the Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association’s “Maine Food Means Business Summit” in Freeport.

“Independent grocers are important to Maine’s economy and the vitality of so many local towns.  NGA is honored to be able to recognize Senator Collins for her efforts on behalf of our industry and members in Maine,” said Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO, NGA.  “From working to address the full-time definition under the Affordable Care Act to ensuring WIC participants have access to a variety of produce items in supermarkets, including white potatoes, Senator Collins has been an advocate for independent supermarkets across the Nation.  During her time in the Senate, Senator Collins has earned a reputation for tackling the issues in a bi-partisan, common-sense manner, which has become a rarity in Washington, D.C.”

“Local, family-owned independent grocers can be found in hundreds of towns across Maine, therefore having a champion like Senator Collins, who truly understands family-owned business, is extremely important to our industry,” said Shelley Doak, Executive Director of the Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association.  “We’re honored to be able to recognize Senator Collins today and to thank her for continuing to be a strong and positive voice for the supermarket industry in Maine and across the country.”

Independent retail supermarkets and the wholesalers that supply them play a vital role in the communities they serve and are a major contributor to the economy of the United States. Defined as a privately held, or family-owned entrepreneurial business, independent supermarket operators run businesses of all formats and sizes, and are dedicated to their customers, associates and communities.

The independent supermarket industry is accountable for close to one percent of the nation’s overall economy and is responsible for generating over $131 billion in sales, nearly 1 million jobs, and $30 billion in wages paid. In Maine, independent grocers are responsible for creating nearly 3,000 jobs and paying over $77 million in wages to employees. For more information on the economic impact of independent grocers, visit

The Champion of the Independent Grocer Award recognizes members of Congress who have demonstrated support for policies that advance and strengthen the independent supermarket industry.