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The National Grocers Association (NGA) launched the start of a year of 30th-anniversary events at a special reception held Thursday, Sept. 20 at the Arlington, Va.-based trade organization’s Fall Conference in Minneapolis. The NGA was the result of a merger between the National Association of Retail Grocers of the United States (NARGUS) and the Cooperative Food Distributors of America (CFDA), marking the first time independent retailers and wholesalers had joined forces under one organization.
“Since its inception in 1982, NGA has not wavered in its mission to ensure independent grocers have the opportunity to succeed and serve their customers,” noted Peter J. Larkin, the association's president and CEO. “The independent sector truly represents the entrepreneurial spirit of America, and it’s that spirit and innovation that has been the foundation of NGA for the past three decades.”
Added Joe Sheridan, chairman of NGA and president of Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern Food Corp.: “NGA [is] the leading voice for the independent grocery sector, ensuring a level playing field for retailers and wholesalers to compete and serve their customers. Some of the nation’s best supermarket operators are independent grocers, and it’s through NGA that independents are afforded the unique opportunity to exchange best practices and concepts with their peers in an industry that is constantly evolving to meet the demands of today's consumer.”
To commemorate the occasion, NGA has published a 30th Anniversary magazine, which was made available to conference attendees at the special reception. The publication includes a timeline of NGA’s history and personal testimonials from the past chairman, current members, and industry leaders. After a special champagne toast, a commemorative cake was provided by local Twin Cities grocer and NGA member Lunds. Reception sponsors were Coca-Cola, Sterilox, and E&J Gallo Winery.
NGA will continue to celebrate its milestone anniversary, which officially occurs on Oct. 1, during the coming months, including at the NGA Show in Las Vegas, which is scheduled for Feb. 10-13, 2013.