The Voice of the Baking Industry Since 1897


ABA and B&CMA Now Stronger Together as One for the Baking Industry

The American Bakers Association (ABA) and the Biscuit & Cracker Manufacturers’ Association (B&CMA) have a long history of serving the baking industry with education, networking, policy advocacy and solutions development. Historically, the organizations were supported by bakers and industry suppliers in their separate, but complementary categories. However, over the past few decades, the pace of industry consolidation and resulting impact on the associations’ budgets, reduced membership base for each organization, and blurring of the distinct product categories led both ABA & B&CMA to critically evaluate their respective missions, scope and priorities.

What started as conversations between leaders of each group on how to partner on initiatives turned into a wide-ranging discussion on how to better capitalize on each organization’s strengths in order to provide higher levels of service and value for each’s respective memberships and the broader baking industry. In March 2016, ABA and B&CMA jointly announced the approval of resolutions by their Boards of Directors to explore merging the two organizations.  A joint Transition Steering Committee (TSC) was formed to evaluate and conduct a thorough examination of the potential synergies and benefits of a merged organization. In January of 2017, the TSC developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the steps required to formally recognize the mutual assets and benefits of the ABA B&CMA merger; subsequently, the MOU and a Resolution for Consideration was approved by each group’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors prior to the 2017 ABA Convention.

On Sunday, March 26,  during the 2017 ABA Convention held in Boca Raton, Fla., the ABA and B&CMA merger was approved after the organizations received unanimous consent from their respective Boards of Directors and memberships. To commemorate this significant moment, a signing ceremony was held during the convention’s All Membership Meeting featuring the members of the Transition Steering Committee:

ABA

B&CMA

Rich Scalise, Hearthside Foods

Bill Quigg, Richmond Baking Co.

Erin Sharp, Kroger Co.

Todd Wallin, Ellison Baking Co.

Robb MacKie, ABA President

Dave Van Laar, B&CMA President

“The Transition Steering Committee has done an outstanding job over the past year to complete its due diligence and ensure the voices of the ABA and B&CMA members were heard,” said ABA President and CEO Robb MacKie. “It is very clear that there are tremendous synergies and that combining our two organizations will return significant added value for the industry.”

“Together, we will be a stronger, unified organization that will offer enhanced, comprehensive services to meet the needs of our members and the baking industry,” said B&CMA President and CEO Dave Van Laar. “It has been an incredible journey thus far and we are eagerly looking forward to this next phase of transitioning into an enhanced, merged organization for our members.”

As stated in the Memorandum of Understanding approved by the ABA and B&CMA’s respective memberships, the merger closing date will be June 30, 2017. Prior to this date, there will be several forums offered to the ABA and B&CMA members to learn more about the benefits of the merger and the opportunities it presents to their companies.