Foodservice Sales & Marketing Association




To demonstrate to Manufacturing clients and their customers that FSMA members believe in ethical business practices, the Association members unanimously adopted a Code of Ethics for all FSMA members. The Code facilitates fair conduct and compliance with laws by all. FSMA membership is a badge of honor, reliability and fair dealing that distinguishes FSMA members from others in the foodservice industry.


As the voice of the foodservice industry, FSMA is uniquely positioned to address sensitive issues affecting both Suppliers and their Sales & Marketing Agencies that are overreaching, unfair, and could have adverse economic impact on the industry.


While an Agency may have economic or other consequences on an individual basis, as the voice of the industry FSMA legal counsel can respond to issues affecting an individual or group of Agencies, and the industry without disclosing their identity.


The following is a summary of propositions that FSMA successfully advanced on behalf of Agencies, saving for its Members millions of dollars in potential lost revenues and reduced operating expenses:


  • Established the recognized industry-standard Agency/Manufacturer Contracts.

  • Provided standard forms for contract addendums for competition/products and conflicts; consolidation, and fairness terms in the event of termination.

  • Challenged offsets of previous commissions paid after an Operator subsequently files for bankruptcy and fails to pay the Supplier.

  • Challenged demands to replace Agencies with a Distributor/Buyer’s own designee.

  • Opposed unfair contract term demands, including onerous insurance requirements, product liability, indemnification, and hold-harmless claims.

  • Published numerous legal opinions opposing unauthorized deductions by parties.

  • Opposed terms for certain proposed covenants not-to-compete surviving after termination.

  • Challenged the legality of demands by Distributors for payments from Agencies.

  • Drafted restrictions in contracts for Call Reports and Confidentiality Agreements.

  • Assisted in collecting past-due commissions, especially following termination.

  • Attended FTC vs. Sysco trial to provide industry guidance pending the US District Court’s injunction ruling for potential antitrust violations in the proposed merger.

  • Researched and published the White Paper on “Agency Sales or Direct Sales?”, which confirmed that Agencies are the most cost-effective and cost-efficient way to bring product to the market, as compared to direct sales.