The merger is designed to harness the collective expertise of the industry's leading government affairs, scientific and technical experts. Both organizations have pledged to continue to identify areas of collaboration with customers to promote new technology and supply chain efficiency.
The merger will not be fully ratified until GMA's board of directors considers and votes on the terms of the agreement at its June board meeting and the general membership of FPA and GMA approve.
In a separate process, the GMA search committee recommended to the GMA executive committee that FPA president and CEO Cal Dooley be named head of the merged organization if the merger is ultimately approved. The committee has now approved this proposal.
GMA president and CEO Manly Molpus will continue until his previously announced retirement date of December 31, 2006. Dooley would serve as president and CEO of the merged organization beginning January 1, 2007.
"FPA's board believes this merger will create a powerhouse association working on behalf of large and small food and non-food companies, while preserving the science mission of FPA that has been the core of its existence since the association's founding in 1907," said Reid MacDonald, chairman of FPA's board of directors and president and CEO of Faribault Foods.
"This merger brings together two very effective advocacy organizations and complements the exceptional public policy and industry affairs work GMA has conducted on behalf of its members since 1908," said Rick Lenny, GMA chairman and chairman, president and CEO of The Hershey Company.
"I congratulate the leadership of FPA and GMA for taking this bold and important step."
The combined organization will be known as GMA/FPA for the first year, after which it will be known as GMA. GMA/FPA would represent nearly 300 member companies from every sector of the food, beverage and consumer products industry.
"This merger will create an organization that offers even greater value to food, beverage and consumer products companies," said Cal Dooley, FPA's president and CEO.
"It will bring the best of both FPA and GMA into a single trade association, offering new services and expertise to all members and providing unsurpassed scientific, public policy and industry affairs representation to member companies." Molpus said that the merger recognizes the unique strengths of each organization.
"GMA/FPA achieves the long-sought objective of uniting the industry behind a common vision and agenda, with the resources and leadership to accomplish its goals," he said.