A newly independent International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) plans to focus its efforts on federal government relations, industry relations and education, research, and standards and bar coding in the foodservice channel. The group, whose 135 members are distributors supplying food and related products to restaurants and institutions, became a freestanding association when the wholesale division of what was Food Distributors International merged with the Food Marketing Institute in December. FD I ceased all operations.
On the government front, IFDA says its priorities include ergonomics, health care, permanent repeal of the inheritance tax, foodservice product labeling, hours of service rules, Defense Department procurement rules and reauthorization of the National School Lunch Program.
The group will continue several existing programs for strengthening industry relations, including its Partners Executive Forum, the Sales & Marketing Conference, the President's Conference, and the annual Productivity Convention and Expo.
Research efforts will focus on several operational disciplines, including logistics, information technology, human resources, and food safety and security. It expects to publish research results online.
On the standards front, the group will continue efforts as a proponent of Efficient Foodservice Response (EFR) initiatives, which include bar coding and electronic communication standards. EFR is an industrywide effort to improve efficiencies in the foodservice supply chain, which includes manufacturers, distribution centers and foodservice operators.