Phil Kafarakis is the President of the Specialty Food Association (SFA), a not-for-profit organization representing more than 3800 member companies who are specialty food artisans, purveyors, importers and food entrepreneurs. The organization also serves distributors, retailers, and global entities involved in the specialty food trade and produces the world-renowned Fancy Food Shows. Overall specialty food sales in the U.S. totaled over $127 billion in 2016 and are the fastest growing food segment in the U.S. food industry forecast to surpass $250 billion in less than 4 years.
Previously, Kafarakis served as Chief Innovation & Member Advancement Officer at the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the leading business lobbying association for the $790 billion restaurant industry that represents more than 14.7 million employees. His 35+ years of senior level leadership in the global food and beverage industry also includes executive leadership positions at McCormick & Co., Cargill, Jones Dairy Farm and Kraft. Phil’s respected leadership at the intersection of food regulation and entrepreneurship along with his personal access to industry influencers have made him a food-industry insider and reliable source for U.S. business media. A recognized food industry advocate and proud Greek immigrant, Kafarakis holds an MBA from Georgetown University and lives in New York city.