Debra Quade, Supplier Diversity Manager
Kellogg's, a major multinational company that distributes its products in over 180 countries, is dedicated to fostering partnerships with at least 51% minority-owned suppliers. By actively seeking out smaller, lesser-known, and diverse suppliers, Kellogg's aims to support the growth of local businesses and prevent market domination by larger, more influential suppliers. To qualify for collaboration with Kellogg's in this capacity, suppliers must undergo authentication and verification by an external organization to ensure their authenticity.
In addition to partnering with Kellogg's, companies enrolled in Kellogg's Diverse Supplier program may be eligible for various additional benefits. Suppliers can obtain certifications at different levels, including nationwide paid certifications as well as free certifications offered at the city, county, or state level. While local certifications may primarily provide inclusion in a database and invitations to local government events, state certifications open doors to a wider range of opportunities.
As an example of the benefits of the program, suppliers certified by the State of Michigan can participate in events organized by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), which hosts annual matchmaker events with Michigan-based corporations. National paid certifications offer numerous advantages for diverse business owners who choose to participate. These benefits encompass education, networking, inclusion in a national database, access to corporate members, potential financial support, participation in trade shows, and more, both at the regional and national levels. Suppliers have the flexibility to select the certifications that align best with their current business needs and future growth plans.
Kellogg recognizes the importance and value of supplier diversity as a means to foster inclusivity, promote economic growth, and enhance business sustainability. By actively engaging with minority-owned suppliers, Kellogg aims to create equitable opportunities for small businesses and contribute to the overall development of local economies. The program aligns with Kellogg's commitment to corporate social responsibility and its belief in the power of diversity to drive business success and create positive social impact.
At the 2021 FMI Midwinter Executive Conference, Steve Cahillane of Kellogg’s, along with colleagues from Giant Eagle, AholdDelhaize USA, and UNFI participated in a session, Connecting Supplier Diversity to your Business Plan and discussed important questions such as: