Meetings between the American Bakers Association and the Biscuit and Cracker Manufacturers Association have uncovered “a very complementary member-centric culture in both organizations,” according to a joint statement issued Dec. 22 by Robb MacKie, president of the A.B.A., and Dave Van Laar, president of the B.&C.M.A.
The Transition Steering Committee (TSC), made up of both presidents, Bill Quigg, Erin Shap, Richard Scalise and Todd Wallin, has met several times with key A.B.A. and B.&C.M.A. stakeholders since the announcement to merge was made in March 2016. Mr. MacKie and Mr. Van Laar expressed that the meetings have been highly collaborative and respectful.
“It also is very clear that there are tremendous synergies, and that combining the two organizations will return significant added value for the industry,” they say.
The TSC prepared a draft Memorandum of Understanding that recommends the merger take place in 2017. Mr. MacKie and Mr. Van Laar assured that the team has worked to ensure that all of B.&C.M.A.’s current education offerings will remain at the highest possible level and that its reserve fund will only be used to enhance future education offerings.
“We also have ensured that the B.&C.M.A. voice will be fully integrated within A.B.A. at the highest levels,” they say.
The draft MOU is currently being reviewed by the organizations’ attorneys. It will then be presented to both associations’ executive committees and boards for approval. The TSC hopes to present the final MOU to A.B.A. and B.&C.M.A. members for approval by the middle of February 2017, with a potential signing ceremony at the organizations’ co-located member conventions in Florida in late March 2017.
Mr. MacKie and Mr. Van Laar said that more detailed information will be provided to members early in the New Year.
“As always, we are mindful that both A.B.A. and B.&C.M.A. are member-centered organizations, and we welcome your guidance and feedback as we move forward with the merger,” they say.