Grocery group hires new top lobbyist

Grocery group hires new top lobbyist
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Bryan Zumwalt, vice president of federal affairs at the American Chemistry Council (ACC), will join the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) as executive vice president of public affairs.

Zumwalt told The Hill in an exclusive interview that he will work with Geoff Freeman, who was named CEO of GMA in August after previously being at the helm of the American Gaming Association. 

Zumwalt is Freeman's first big hire as he works to shake up the organization and restructure at the top. 

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“I’m very excited about the new CEO, ​Geoff Freeman, and the direction of the organization under his leadership as well as both the opportunities and challenges that could be available in this new role,” Zumwalt told The Hill.

He starts at GMA on Aug. 29.

Zumwalt has been at ACC since 2015. Before that, he was senior energy and environment adviser to former Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterGrocery group hires new top lobbyist Lobbying World Senate confirms Trump judge who faced scrutiny over abortion views MORE (R-La.) and chief counsel on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

“I think the four pillars that they are focused on are exciting issue areas that really represent the consumer facing challenges that industry and the big brands in particular must address over the next decade: smart regulation, sustainability, building trust in consumer-packaged goods, as well as the supply chain components,” Zumwalt said. 

He added, “In one way or another I’ve either touched on a lot of ​these issues or directly been involved in addressing some of the challenges.”

Zumwalt mentioned he brings experience from previous roles in ​regulatory policy issues and sustainability issues, as well as marine debris and plastic waste, which, he noted, falls into the GMA wheelhouse.

“I think they are challenging, interesting issues ​that can have a direct and significant impact on our economy,” he said. 

His responsibilities will include overseeing the communications, supply chain, packaging and sustainability, federal and state affairs, and ally development teams.

The grocery industry has been divided in Washington. The Sustainable Food Policy Alliance was formed as a competitor in July 2018 by four food companies: Danone North America, Mars, Nestlé USA and Unilever United States.

The alliance is focused on food policies that reduce impact on the planet and cut greenhouse gas emissions, among other issues.