Retailers Collaborate With White House Administration
UNITED STATES - Grocery retailers are quickly taking shape as our industry’s biggest advocates, rallying on the front lines of health and safety. Realizing this, President Donald Trump tapped executives, leaders, and representatives from major players like UNFI, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Walmart, Costco, Whole Foods, Wegmans, Publix, Aldi, and more to collaborate on a supply chain strategy to keep the United States prepared, safe, and well-stocked with necessities like fresh produce during the development of COVID-19.
“The President thanked them for the work they have already done to meet the needs of the public and for their continued commitment to the communities they serve,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said, according to The Hill, about the Sunday afternoon discussion held by the White House. “All of the executives are working hand-in-hand with the Federal Government, as well as State and local leaders, to ensure food and essentials are constantly available.”
During the discussion, President Trump confirmed with grocery retailers that supply chains are strong and that each and every company is doing all that they can to help Americans stay calm.
United Natural Foods, Inc.’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Steven L. Spinner, was one of many to confirm this fact, helping to lead the brainstorming charge with some of grocery’s greats. During the discussion, he highlighted the tremendous work being carried out by UNFI’s 21,000 associates, according to a press release.
“It is important for all Americans to know that they can continue to count on companies like ours to keep stores well-stocked with a variety of food and wellness products during this critical period,” said Spinner. “In addition to having business continuity and safety plans in place to help keep America fed, UNFI is supplementing its coordination with Federal, State, and local government agencies by now collaborating directly with the White House and industry peers. We firmly believe that increased levels of public-private collaboration can further enhance UNFI’s around-the-clock efforts to meet our customers’ current and future needs.”
Spinner added: “America’s food supply chain is the best in the world thanks to its strong infrastructure, flexibility, and resiliency. To keep the supply chain that strong, we have asked the Administration’s help in encouraging responsible consumer purchasing, keeping essential and healthy associates at work, and ensuring highways and roads remain open to cargo trucks.”
C&S Wholesale Grocers’ Chief Executive Officer, Mike Duffy, was also in attendance, agreeing with Spinner on the work the company’s employees are doing to keep the supply chain strong.
“I want to thank President Trump, Vice President Pence, and my fellow industry leaders for their partnership to ensure that we stand at the ready to serve our country through this challenging time. For more than 100 years, C&S Wholesale Grocers has been keeping our communities fed. As a critical link in the grocery supply chain, what we do is core to keeping the country running and enabling people to feed their families. It is an honor and a privilege, and our mission serves as a guide as we face challenges such as this unprecedented situation,” Duffy said. “Every C&S employee is going above and beyond to fulfill our mission and live our values. We have already had long days and nights and there will be more to come, but the commitment of our employees has been nothing less than inspirational. We are vigilantly monitoring this situation around the clock and are in constant communication with government authorities and industry associations to ensure that we are doing everything possible to keep our communities fed.”
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