Food Distributors International (FDI) and the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade Inc. (NASFT) announced today that they have agreed on an initiative to develop strong inter-organizational ties under which FDI will provide services to all of the specialty food organization’s members.

FDI President and CEO John R. Block and NASFT President John Roberts made the announcement.

Under the terms of the agreement, NASFT’s 55 distributor members will become full members of FDI, with direct access to all of FDI’s regular member benefits and NASFT’s 2,250 manufacturer/supplier members will become affiliated with FDI and will have access to FDI programs at supplier community rates and terms.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our two associations to work more closely together and to do so more efficiently,” Block said.  “We look forward to enriching our association and activities with this influx of new members, all of whom are involved in the food industry either as distributors or suppliers.”

“FDI’s array of services, programs, and legislative expertise will provide NASFT members with solid opportunities to improve their operations,” Roberts said.   “We expect to identify other opportunities to leverage the combined strengths of our associations to benefit each other’s membership base.”

The agreement also provides for the two organizations to work together on mutual issues of concern on Capitol Hill and before the regulatory agencies. Other areas of cooperation will include conferences, meetings, trade shows, communications and other services.

Food Distributors International is a trade association comprised of food distribution companies that supply and service independent grocers and foodservice operations throughout the United States, Canada and 19 other countries.  The association and its foodservice partner, the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), have 220 member companies that operate 997 distribution centers with a combined annual sales volume of $183 billion.  IFDA represents member firms that annually sell $58 billion in food and related products to restaurants, hospitals and other institutional foodservice operations.