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    GMA, FPA Plan to Merge

    WASHINGTON -- The board of directors of the Food Products Association (FPA) and the executive committee of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) said Friday that they have agreed in principle to merge the two organizations as of Jan. 1, 2007.

    WASHINGTON -- The board of directors of the Food Products Association (FPA) and the executive committee of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) said Friday that they have agreed in principle to merge the two organizations as of Jan. 1, 2007.

    The merger won't be fully ratified until GMA's board votes on the terms of the agreement at its board meeting next month, and the general membership of both associations approve the deal.

    In a separate process, the GMA search committee recommended to the GMA executive committee that FPA president and c.e.o. Cal Dooley be appointed to lead the merged organization, if the merger goes through. The executive committee agreed to the recommendation. GMA president and c.e.o. Manly Molpus will continue to serve until his already announced retirement date of Dec. 31, 2006.

    "This merger will create an organization that offers even greater value to food, beverage and consumer products companies," noted Dooley. "It will bring the best of both FPA and GMA into a single trade association, offering new services and expertise to all members and providing unsurpassed scientific, public policy, and industry affairs representation to member companies."

    Added Molpus: "GMA/FPA achieves the long-sought objective of uniting the industry behind a common vision and agenda, with the resources and leadership to accomplish its goals."

    The merged organization will be called GMA/FPA for the first year, after which it will become GMA. GMA/FPA would represent almost 300 member companies from every sector of the food, beverage, and CPG industry.

    Rick Lenny, GMA chairman and chairman, president, and c.e.o. of The Hershey Co., added: "This merger brings together two very effective advocacy organizations and complements the exceptional public policy and industry affairs work GMA has conducted on behalf of its members since 1908."

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