Retailer Membership

Equipping and enabling independent and franchised grocers for sustainable success.

Retail Membership is open to any full independent or franchised grocery store operating in at least four departments of the following: dry grocery, produce, meat, frozen, dairy, bakery, or deli.

Annual Fee Schedule

Store is Large (over 3500 sq. ft.)  
$599.00 plus applicable taxes

Store is Small (under 3500 sq. ft.) 
$299.00 plus applicable taxes


Scholarship Award

Every year, seven scholarships totalling $18,000 are handed out to deserving students across Canada.


National Scholarship

Winner invited to annual Independent Grocer of the Year Gala in Toronto.

Six Regional Scholarships
$2,000 each
Awards breakdown
4:university/college (national)
1: high school (East region)
1: high school (West region)


1. Applicants must be Canadian residents studying in Canada.

2. Applicants must be enrolled or expected to enroll in a post-secondary program of at least 2 years.

3. All Graduating High School Students

4. College/University students must be enrolled in at least one more year of study as of Spring of
the current year.

5. Applicants must be working for a current CFIG member (retail, associate, affiliate) or be a family member of an employee of a current CFIG member.

6. Only complete applications containing full and accurate information will be considered.

7. Plagiarism is an infringement of copyright laws. All essays must be properly referenced.

Benefits to the CFIG member

1. A plaque for the Store Sponsor of each scholarship recipient.
2. Personalized assistance with any publicity opportunities.
3. Invitation to accept the National Scholarship sponsorship plaque at the annual Toronto gala awards night.

Reasons to join

5 reasons your store will benefit from a CFIG membership:

Retail Membership is open to any full independent or franchised grocery store operating in at least four departments of the following: dry grocery, produce, meat, frozen, dairy, bakery, or deli.

Government advocacy

CFIG is the only Canadian association that represents
and protects the interests of over 4000 independent and
franchised grocers at the provincial and federal
government level.

Build reputation

Get recognized through exclusive scholarships
and retail awards.

Keep up to date

Get instant alerts about food recalls, advocacy
and regulatory informs. Also receive our
monthly e-newsletter.

Discounts on 3rd party services

On the services you need to succeed like training,
consultation, award entry, and
admission to our trade-shows.

Network and share best practices

Continue your professional development
at seminars, events, and tradeshows.


As a long-term grocery store owner/operator, I feel that the money I spend annually on a CFIG membership is money very well spent. I particularly value the Government and Industry lobbying work completed by Gary Sands, Tom Shurrie and the whole team at CFIG. Some recent examples of areas where I know CFIG has had tremendous influence are:

  1. If you already have an authorization to sell beverage alcohol in the Ontario market, you should thank the work done by CFIG for that opportunity. Without the input of CFIG in this process, this opportunity would be entirely in the hands of the large chain stores. Improvements to this program continue to accrue to independent grocers thanks to the work of CFIG;
  2. If you are a customer of the Ontario Food Terminal, you should thank CFIG for playing a major role in the retention of this facility in its’ current, convenient location;
  3. If you accept debit and credit cards in your business, you should thank CFIG for helping to keep us competitive versus our chain store competitors.”

— David La Mantia, La Mantia’s Country Fresh Market


CFIG is an over 50- year-old organization that deals with government advocacy. It’s very difficult for individual stores and companies to deal with all the issues they face. CFIG also provides various training opportunities, along with collaboration at conferences where you can learn from other businesses. If you’re not a part of CFIG, you’re missing a tremendous opportunity.”

—Darrell Jones, President, Overwaitea Food Group, Langley, British Columbia


A membership of CFIG is an essential tool in an independent grocer’s toolbox. From the educational opportunities to the policy and advocacy work that CFIG does on behalf of independent grocers across Canada, the membership dues annually pays for itself. As we’re truly a family-run grocer, CFIG has been there to help us through this competitive sector.”

—Joe Longo, Chief Development Officer, Longo Bros. Fruit Markets, Vaughan, Ontario


Through CFIG and their conferences, I have been able to develop relationships with other grocers and suppliers that would have otherwise been impossible.”

—Christy McMullen, Owner, Summerhill Market, Toronto, Ontario


Policy & Advocacy

What has CFIG done for you lately?

Credit card fees: What’s in your wallet? 3 Hands

CFIG and the Small Business Matters Coalition have led the fight over the past year in maintaining pressure on the government and the credit card companies, banks and processors — the 3 hands that are in your wallet — over excessive swipe fees — beyond the reduction to 1.5% that was promised last year. These efforts resulted in the recent decision by Visa to lower only their grocery rate to an overall average of 1.26%. This will save each member thousands of dollars and is only one area where the ROI on your membership dues is demonstrated. Our fight on reducing fees continues, with the objective of having a rate of 0.3%, equivalent to that in other international jurisdictions.

Consolidation and Competition: The Squeeze Play

Retail and supplier consolidation has distorted normal fair competitive practices in the food industry. If left unchecked, these practices could result in many independents being pushed off what is already an uneven playing field. As a result of our efforts, this issue is now a top priority for the Competition Bureau and we continue our push for an industry wide solution.

Cheese Quota: Time for Us to Get a Fair Slice

The implementation of the Canada-EU Trade agreement, known as CETA, is expected sometime in 2017. This will result in approximately 16,000 tonnes of imported cheese coming into Canada with no tariff. As well, at least 30% of the quota has to be given to “new entrants” in the market. CFIG is advocating for independents to have fair and equitable access to this additional supply and urging the government to use this opportunity to shake up the current system — one that allows current cheese quota suppliers to hold retailers at ransom, particularly at certain times of the year.

Beer and Wine: Thirsty for More

In B.C. and Ontario, both governments made changes to the method of distribution of these products. While CFIG continues to believe that beer and wine should be available in all grocery stores, our role in the meantime has been to advocate for independents to receive a fair shake. In Ontario, these efforts resulted in the government establishing a separate ‘bidding pool’ for independents as well as a guarantee that 20% of the beer licences would go to independents and 25% of the wine licences will be allocated for independents.

Energy Prices: Rising Temperatures and Costs

Across most of the country it’s been a hot summer. But the rising costs of energy is always going way up and has been an issue for businesses in all sectors. Particularly in Ontario, where that province rebuilds a crumbling infrastructure and implements new clean energy targets, they have ratcheted up rates that are putting many retail grocers in an untenable position for the long term. While CFIG and many other trade associations and businesses are raising the alarm with government, CFIG is also facilitating the provision of information about suppliers and options to help them manage this issue. Along with special updates on accessing suppliers, this fall a CFIG members only’ session is being set up in co-operation with the Ministry of Energy and the IESO to review options and answer questions from members.

© 2019 Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers