FPA, GMA move toward merger

The Board of Directors of the Food Products Assn. (FPA) and the Executive Committee of the Grocery Manufacturers Assn. (GMA) announced Apr. 28 that they have agreed in principle to merge the two organizations effective January 1, 2007. The merger will not be fully ratified until GMA’s board of directors considers and votes on the terms of the agreement at its June board meeting and the general membership of FPA and GMA approve.

In a separate process, the GMA Search Committee recommended to the GMA Executive Committee, and it agreed, that FPA President and CEO Cal Dooley be named head of the merged organization if the merger is ultimately approved. GMA President and CEO Manly Molpus will continue until his previously announced retirement date of December 31, 2006. Dooley would serve as president and CEO of the merged organization beginning January 1, 2007.

“FPA’s Board believes this merger will create a powerhouse association working on behalf of large and small food and non-food companies, while preserving the science mission of FPA that has been the core of its existence since the association’s founding in 1907,” said Reid MacDonald, Chairman of FPA’s Board of Directors and President and CEO of Faribault Foods.

“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,” said Rick Lenny, GMA Chairman and Chairman, President and CEO of The Hershey Co. “I congratulate the leadership of FPA and GMA for taking this bold and important step.”

The combined organization will be known as GMA/FPA for the first year, after which it will be known as GMA. GMA/FPA would represent nearly 300 member companies from every sector of the food, beverage and consumer products industry. The merger will harness the collective expertise of the industry’s leading government affairs, scientific and technical experts and will continue to identify areas of collaboration with customers to promote new technology and supply chain efficiency.

Cal Dooley, FPA's President and CEO, noted "This merger will create an organization that offers even greater value to food, beverage and consumer products companies. 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.

“This merger recognizes the unique strengths of each organization,” said GMA President and CEO Manly 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 Food Products Assn. is the largest trade association serving the food and beverage industry in the United States and worldwide. FPA’s laboratory centers, scientists and professional staff provide technical and regulatory assistance to member companies and represent the food industry on scientific and public policy issues involving food safety, food security, nutrition, consumer affairs and international trade. For more information, visit FPA’s website at www.fpa-food.org.

The Grocery Manufacturers Assn. (GMA) represents the world’s leading branded food, beverage and consumer products companies. Since 1908, GMA has been an advocate for its members on public policy issues and has championed initiatives to increase industrywide productivity and growth. GMA member companies employ more than 2.5 million workers in all 50 states and account for more than $680 billion in global annual sales. The association is led by a board of member company chief executives. For more information, visit the GMA Web site at www.gmabrands.com.

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