The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and the Association of Sales & Marketing Companies (ASMC) are exploring the possibility of a formal alliance between the two associations.

The Boards of Directors of both organizations are discussing a formal partnership that would have ASMC become a subsidiary of GMA. GMA’s Board of Directors approved the proposed merger today at its Board meeting in New York. The ASMC Executive Committee has endorsed the merger and will make its recommendation to the full ASMC Board on December 7.

With GMA’s membership of the world’s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies, and ASMC’s membership of sales and marketing agents and professional merchandising companies, both organizations see benefits from a potential alliance.

“Manufacturers and sales and marketing companies naturally have close ties within the consumer products industry, and we believe a strategic partnership between our memberships is both pragmatic and exciting,” said GMA President and CEO C. Manly Molpus. “It’s clear this alliance will better unite manufacturers’ sales and marketing efforts to move faster in the creation of go-to-market strategies, while facilitating greater communication and coordinated activities throughout the supply side of the industry.”

“Our members are essentially part of the same family, so we see a good deal of opportunity for new programs and knowledge development that unify and enhance business practices among manufacturers and their sales and marketing agents,” said ASMC President and CEO Mark W. Baum. “We believe a merger will allow us to continue current programs and outreach to our respective members, while expanding our already robust presence in the sales and marketing of food, beverages, and consumer products.”

If both Boards approve the merger, ASMC will become a separate entity within GMA. Details will be finalized between the two organizations once the ASMC Board has met, and an official announcement outlining specifics will be issued at a later date.

The Association of Sales & Marketing Companies (ASMC) is a Reston, Virginia-based trade association promoting the interests of sales and marketing agents and retail merchandisers worldwide. Prior to 1997, ASMC operated as the National Food Brokers Association (founded in 1904) and the International Foodservice Brokers Association (founded in 1995). ASMC’s membership comprises nearly 1,000 sales and marketing agencies employing more than 40,000 professionals and servicing all classes of trade for the thousands of clients they represent worldwide. In addition, the Association promotes the interests of some 200 Associate member manufacturers, including their subsidiaries, that use sales and marketing agency representation in local markets, as well as dozens of Allied members that serve constituent companies.

GMA is the world’s largest association of food, beverage and consumer product companies. With U.S. sales of more than $460 billion, GMA members employ more than 2.5 million workers in all 50 states. The organization applies legal, scientific and political expertise from its member companies to vital food, nutrition and public policy issues affecting the industry. Led by a board of 42 Chief Executive Officers, GMA speaks for food and consumer product manufacturers at the state, federal and international levels on legislative and regulatory issues. The association also leads efforts to increase productivity, efficiency and growth in the food, beverage and consumer products industry.