March 17, 2020
Trade groups applaud federal response to ensure supply chain viability
Despite heavy strains to operations and frenzied buying blowing holes in the shelves of the nation’s supermarkets in recent days, grocery industry leaders expressed confidence that their supply chains will catch up to demand as consumers adjust to the reality of food shopping in the coronavirus era.
Trade group executives from FMI and the National Grocers Association said they were encouraged by federal response to help ensure the viability of the supply chain, including the declaration of a state of emergency announced late last week and a call on March 15 with top federal officials. Joining President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and other White House officials on the administration’s plans to address the COVID-19 outbreak were FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin, NGA President and CEO Greg Ferrara and additional CEOs of Walmart, Whole Foods, Wegmans, Costco, Publix, Aldi and Dollar General. Other food industry executives on the call included leaders from Campbell Soup Co. and Kraft Heinz.
Trump and Pence subsequently hosted a press conference the afternoon of March 15 from the White House briefing room, where they praised the nation’s grocery industry for keeping their stores open and stocked as best they can while asking Americans to only purchase what they need for an average weekly shop to ensure availability for others.