History of IGD

Making history

IGD's past and present 

We’ve come a long way during our history of over 100 years although we hold true to our roots. Ever since our launch in 1909, we've been delivering training, producing insights and bringing people together from across the food and grocery industry, to ultimately deliver public benefit.

Early days

When a group of grocers decided to create an organisation to develop skills in their profession, the Institute of Certified Grocers was born in London in 1909. This body merged with the Institute of Food Distribution in 1972, giving us a new name: IGD (The Institute of Grocery Distribution) and a new home at Letchmore Heath.

Shaping up

The merged organisation brought together retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers. Soon we were joined by farmers, catering, packaging, distribution and other companies to span the full grocery chain. When Joanne Denney-Finch became our chief executive at the end of the 90s, she led the charge to build our international links and now we have members from around the globe.   

Embracing change

The last 100 years has seen enormous change in food and grocery. The green revolution in farming, the explosion of international trade, the introduction of supermarkets, mass refrigeration and the internet are just a few high-profile examples. Nothing stays still for long but food and grocery always remains at the centre of the economy, the environment and public health. 

Moving forward

IGD is a research and training charity which sits at the heart of the food and grocery industry. It has a trading subsidiary that provides commercial services. The profits from these commercial services fund the charity. As a charity we exist to upskill people working in or looking to join the food and grocery industry. We also manage initiatives driven by research and best practice relating to science, technology or economics in the food industry.