January 30 2023  |  Associations

FDFA update: the voice of the industry on Parliament Hill

By Laura Shirk

Since the border reopening and dropping of the use of Arrive CAN on October 1, 2022, FDFA has continued to be the voice of the industry on Parliament Hill

After a couple of challenging years, Frontier Duty Free Association (FDFA) is looking forward to the industry being “firmly on the road to recovery.” The Association was at the forefront of the fight to reopen the border and remove travel restrictions during the height of the pandemic.

Since the border reopening and dropping of the use of Arrive CAN on October 1, 2022, FDFA has continued to be the voice of the industry on Parliament Hill. Leading up to the holiday season, FDFA participated in meetings with Members of Parliament and senior officials to discuss ways to help its stores successfully recover. Its attention has now turned to growing and protecting the industry.

The Association is not only seeking monetary support, but also a guarantee that stores will not be subject to rules and taxes that should not apply to its export businesses.

The FDFA Board will be engaging with CBSA and finance officials and looking to meet with the Minister of Public Safety in the coming weeks.

For a review of its advocacy work over the last year see here.

The Innovation Forum

Organized by FDFA late November, this event focused on the challenges impeding recovery and brought together 17 stores for an operators’ meeting followed by group sessions from 14 supplier members.

Although it was good to address the issues in person, the Association points out that it is excited to reunite this November in a format similar to its traditional convention. More details to come.

For more information from the 2022 Innovation Forum see here.

Upcoming events

1. FDFA Brand Discovery Program

The Brand Discovery Program was developed to source new competitive products globaly for our member stores. Twelve new brands participated in the first year, with details and information available for buyers through the secure Buyer's Forum section of the FDFA member’s website.

The Buyer’s Forum also offers supplier members the opportunity to share promotions and product information. For more information about the Buyer's Forum please contact the FDFA.

2. FDFA Supplier Presentations

FDFA is hosting virtual supplier member presentations throughout January and February. These presentations give our suppliers the opportunity to update stores on their brands for the upcoming year. There are still a couple openings available in February – contact the FDFA for more details.

Mark your calendars

The FDFA is planning the Operators’ Annual Meeting for May 8 in Ottawa, followed by advocacy meetings and other activities with Members of Parliament on May 9 and 10, 2023.

The FDFA is currently forming the 2023 Convention Committee. The convention committee will oversee the planning and implementation of this year’s convention, which is expected to be held November from November 27 to 30, 2023. Exact dates and location will be announced in April.

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