By: Mark Baum, Chief Collaboration Officer and Senior Vice President of Industry Relations, FMI Boardroom Vol 8

As an executive, what happens when there are multiple, simultaneous issues that fall under the definition of an imperative?

When there are numerous issues, it can be challenging to prioritize and address them in a timely and effective manner. It may be necessary to use a structured approach to prioritize and address each issue based on its urgency and importance.

The food industry is complex, and no single organization can tackle all the challenges and opportunities it presents. Together, FMI and Oliver Wyman identified and prioritized six imperative issues impacting the food industry now and into at least the near future:

  • Supply chain disruption.
  • Labor shortages and workforce challenges.
  • Accelerating technology transformation.
  • Changing marketplace and societal dynamics.
  • Evolving consumer behaviors.
  • Rising ESG expectations.
FMI Imperative Issues 2023

The goal of our Imperative Issues Initiative, created and later revisited and updated by FMI and Oliver Wyman, is to identify issues with the greatest potential to impact the food industry. 

In addition to the Imperative Issues Initiative project, FMI and Oliver Wyman originally created Boardroom in 2013, an annual journal specifically designed for those senior executives responsible for guiding their companies through what has become the most challenging, dynamic and rewarding period of our industry’s history.

Boardroom Volume 8 examines all six imperative issues from multiple angles and serves the food industry as a discussion starter for prioritizing imperatives and taking action.

The articles in this year’s Boardroom volume 8 reflect FMI’s Imperative Issues Framework. Boardroom continues to provide analysis and recommendations through the lens of the food industry's imperative issues – from supply chain and workforce challenges to the evolution of consumer behavior and technology.

These strategies for senior executives have proven prescient in helping navigate strong and often-unexpected headwinds like the pandemic, supply chain glitches, labor shortages, and soaring food costs, all buffered by consumers’ ever-evolving tastes and preferences. It underscores the tenet about building a strong foundation that can withstand the elements.

We discovered again — and are heartened by — a broad alignment among retailers, wholesalers, and suppliers on the significance and hierarchy of these issues.  What we found is a hierarchy of the various issues FMI members face in terms of immediate needs, imperative issues, and underlying enablers. 

As you will read (or listen to) our insights and recommendations  Boardroom, you will find the imperatives have set the pace of disruption in our industry and continue to accelerate amid converging challenges. We hope you find the journal articles helpful as you focus on the now with a sense of urgency, while also being able to look up and ahead alongside all of us who support you.

Access Boardroom Volume 8

Scan the QR code below to access the full Boardroom Journal.

Boardroom QR Code