Farmers are crucial partners for us
The role farmers play for both General Mills and the families who count on our food was a key point of discussion at the 2017 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in Phoenix, attended by more than 5,000 Farm Bureau members from across the U.S.
John Church, executive vice president of our global supply chain, told the agriculture group, “Each one of you, perhaps more than anyone else, understands the importance of treating the world with care. That’s how we’re going to make a difference together.”
John made the remarks during a panel discussion. We also shared a little food with the attendees, sponsoring a flapjack breakfast.
Everyone at General Mills knows that more and more people want to know – from field to table – what they’re eating, John said. And that by working together with farmers, we can build trust not only in the U.S. but worldwide.
After all, General Mills markets its brands in more than 100 countries.
John outlined several commitments General Mills has made around reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing our overall impact on the environment.
“We have to demonstrate that we are thoughtful about how we make products and what we put into them,” said John. “Whether it’s farm conservation practices or watershed improvements and protection, we need to work together to tell this story to consumers. And we can’t do that without American farmers.”
“Feeding the world is a partnership between farmers and food companies,” said Zippy Duvall, president of AFBF. “We applaud General Mills for working to maintain a good relationship with the people who grow and supply the ingredients in their food products, and we invite other companies to have a productive dialog with us and our members about today’s sustainable agriculture.”
John noted that many of our aspirations are a goal.
“We don’t have it figured out,” he said. “We want to bring people to the table with us. And we are excited to be here today to engage in that conversation together. Because the only way we can create change and build trust is by working together and sharing our story with consumers.”
John added that having a “consumer-first” mindset in improving our food and developing new offerings at General Mills goes hand-in-hand with agriculture.
Focusing on people who buy our food helps both General Mills and farmers respond to the changing needs of families.
“We have to make it clear to consumers that by buying our food, and your commodities, that they are buying our values. That the way we operate makes a difference,” he said.
“General Mills’ engagement with farmers and ranchers is an example of what food companies should be doing – reaching out to have an open conversation about consumer expectations, food trends, best practices in farming and the realities of agricultural production, so we can work together to provide the highest quality food products in the most sustainable way,” added Duvall.
On GeneralMills.com, you can learn more about how we’re working to reduce our environmental impact and our sustainability mission.
Editor’s note: The photos in this post are from the American Farm Bureau Federation, at the organization’s 2017 Annual Convention.
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