“And may you have a strong foundation, when those winds of change shift,” so
goes the line of advice Bob Dylan offers for those seeking to be Forever Young.
It may not be exactly what the songwriter had in mind, but the truth holds that
an industry seeking to strengthen its commitment to relevancy and remain forever
young must have a strong foundation that helps fund forward-thinking projects.
In the midst of winds blowing many directions, a solid foundation – such as FMI’s
Foundation – provides grounded research resources sparking renewed energy
in pivotal industry areas that must be maintained, such as food safety; it also
undergirds initiatives that help guide emerging areas of interest such as health and
wellness. We are grateful for Ric Jurgens’ leadership during his recent term as the
Chairman of the FMI Foundation, and we welcome our new Chairman Steve Smith
to this pivotal role. We appreciate their combined effort in keeping the Foundation
focused on traditional industry needs, evidenced in funding much needed listeria
research, while guiding the Foundation Board of Trustees to broaden the scope
of its vision and range of issues.
We invite your diligent reading of this annual report, which allows you to
“follow the money,” identifying the detailed areas where the FMI Foundation has
specifically invested in tackling issues of consumer concern and industry need.
Recent Foundation projects range from the immediately utilitarian – underwriting
the printing of Meat Nutri-Facts posters to keep FMI member companies USDA
compliant – to those providing unlimited societal benefit – such as supporting
“Common Threads,” which offers hands-on cooking classes for children from
low income families. The Foundation continues to amplify its funding power
by forming strategic partnerships and supporting innovative projects like the
Partnership for Food Safety Education’s Fight BAC!® program.
FMI is in the final few months of the three-year strategic plan. This, of course,
means we are in the process of creating our next three- to five-year strategic plan
and I can assure you that part of that strategy includes an enhanced role of the
FMI Foundation, so let’s continue the work of keeping it strong.
We thank those who, years ago, not only recognized the need for a forward
thinking industry Foundation, but dug deep, providing the actual funds to get
it established. We are also grateful to those whose names are listed within this
report who offer continued support of Foundation efforts. We appreciate their
active recognition that having a solid Foundation will help ensure the food retail
industry remains forever young.