The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute hope to encourage "every link in America's food chain" to come together and discuss issues surrounding the sustainability agenda at the jointly-hosted annual Sustainability Summit, taking place in Washington DC this week.

Speaking on behalf of the FMI David Fikes, director for community and consumer affairs and social responsibility, stressed the importance of cooperation on sustainability issues across the food chain.

The FMI launched the Sustainability Summit six years ago and the GMA became a joint sponsor for the event three years ago.

Addressing the conference yesterday (4 October), Fikes highlighted the significance of the partnership between the retailer association and the industry body representing food manufacturers. The FMI/GMA partnership made the conference "a food industry-wide event where every link in America's food chain can assemble to create an environment conducive to open conversation about the environment," Fikes said.

President and CEO of the GMA Pamela Bailey told her audience that the conference afforded sustainability experts the opportunity "to share successful practices in the sustainability area and lay the groundwork for even more progress in the years to come".

Sustainability is not a "fad or a lifestyle choice, it's a moral imperative", Bailey insisted.