New York, NY — Today, the Specialty Food Association (SFA) and Food Marketing Institute (FMI) announced their strategic partnership regarding the multibillion dollar specialty food industry. SFA is a 3,600+ member organization dedicated to the support and creation of specialty food. FMI operates in thousands of food retailers and pharmacies across the country using various programs to promote food safety, research, education and industry relations.

This new alliance aims to strengthen the specialty food industry by bringing together more people with expertise in the field.

"Specialty foods outpace their non-specialty counterparts in nearly every category, presenting a unique opportunity for a wide variety of retailers and foodservice operators to increase sales," SFA President Phil Kafarakis said in a press release. "SFA looks forward to partnering with FMI in business-building programs with our respective members. We believe this strategic partnership will have a positive impact throughout the industry.”

"Consumer trends point to continued specialty and organic growth, so it's imperative that the food retail industry meet this consumer need, while making the necessary investment to secure the food supply by building trusting relationships with specialty product trading partners,” FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin said about the partnership.

The business partnership will be formally announced at the SFA Summer Fancy Food Show.

FMI members are invited to participate in a customized buyers program with SFA manufacturers – Biz Builders 1:1. This program pairs buyers and sellers together for one-on-one meetings before the Fancy Food Show to create business opportunities.

Another goal of the SFA-FMI partnership is to promote FMI’s Safe Quality Foods (SQF) Institute Certification programs for manufacturers and the FMI SafeMark for retailers.

FMI’s Food safety experts will provide educational opportunities at the Fancy Food Show, to talk about trends in food safety and showing how new technology affects food safety, brand protection, and consumer confidence.