The Center for Food Integrity and the FMI Foundation are partnering on an initiative to support racial justice, inclusion and diversity in the food system.

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The joint initiative has two strategic pillars:

  1. Facilitate structured discussions to advance a productive dialogue.
  2. Identify, capture and promote examples of companies and organizations that are doing a good job of addressing the issues to create models and practices that others can emulate.

The Digital Dialogues series features food industry leaders as part of the broader initiative of CFI and FMI to promote food industry engagement on race, inclusion and diversity and prompt action toward meaningful and measurable progress.

First Digital Dialogue Recording  

Second Digital Dialogue Recording 

Third Digital Dialogue Recording 

The Fourth Digital Dialogue will take place on March 24, 2021 at 1:30pm ET. 

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Terrez Thompson, chair of Powered by Zerret, Inc. and retired executive of The Coca-Cola Company, and Natalie McGrady, Director of Supplier Diversity at Cargill will discuss the business case for diversity in the supply chain during our next Digital Dialogues. Among the topics: what companies should look for in suppliers, common traits among suppliers championing a more diverse and inclusive environment and advice for fostering one.

The Third Digital Dialogue took place on January 20, 2021 at 4:00pm ET. 

Recording

Mike Haddad of Schreiber Foods and Candace Croney, PhD, from Purdue University discussed racial justice, inclusion and diversity in food and agriculture.

The webcast is the third in a series as part of the new Racial Justice, Inclusion and Diversity Initiative from The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) and FMI, the Food Industry Association.


The second digital dialogue took place on November 30th. 

Recording  


Chris Skyers, vice president of Own Brands for Wakefern Food Corp., and Brian George, owner of Alex Lee, Inc. discussed racial justice, inclusion and diversity and the food retail landscape during Digital Dialogues.

The webcast is the second in a series as part of the new Racial Justice, Inclusion and Diversity Initiative from The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) and FMI, the Food Industry Association.

The first digital dialogue took place on November 2nd. 

CFI Digital Dialogues on Racial Justice, Inclusion and Diversity

Recording 

Jacquelyn Howard, vice president, global supply chain, The Starbucks Coffee Company, and Melissa Melshenker Ackerman, president of the Produce Alliance, discussed racial justice, inclusion and diversity in the food system during the first Digital Dialogues. The webcast marks the official launch of the new Racial Justice, Inclusion and Diversity Initiative from The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) and FMI, the Food Industry Association. The Digital Dialogues series is one component of the joint CFI/FMI partnership to enhance food industry engagement on racial justice, inclusion and diversity.

“Our goal with the initiative is meaningful and measurable progress by first creating an environment that encourages and supports productive and transparent conversations,” said Charlie Arnot, CFI CEO. “We also want to identify, capture and promote examples of companies that are doing a good job of addressing race, inclusion and diversity to create models and practices that others can emulate, no matter where they are on their journey.”

Howard and Ackerman are both members of the Racial Justice, Inclusion and Diversity Initiative advisory board.

Others include Dana Bolden, chief communications officer for Corteva Agriscience; Candace Croney, PhD, director of the Center for Animal Welfare Science, Purdue University; Brian George, president and CEO of Alex Lee; Russell T. Lund, III, president and CEO of Lund Food Holdings; Terrez Marriott Thompson, vice president of global supplier diversity and inclusion, The Coca-Cola Company; and Elizabeth Sanders, County Director and Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent, Davidson County, Tennessee. Learn more about the advisory board here.

During the November 2 Digital Dialogues, facilitated by A’Yanna Webster, PhD, CEO of Winning Within & Associates, Howard and Ackerman discussed how race and diversity are being addressed at their organizations, including challenges they’ve faced, progress and opportunities for the food system. It’s the first of a series of roundtables featuring food industry leaders as part of the broader initiative of CFI and FMI.

“These conversations can be difficult, but it’s imperative that we have them,” said Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI. “This initiative is intended to help provide guidance and empower all participants in the food system to create a more inclusive and equitable future for everyone engaged throughout the system.”