NAPERVILLE, Ill. — KeHE has debuted a new initiative to help identify and support diversity within the food marketplace.
The issue of diversity and inclusion is important to KeHE and is being evaluated holistically – including its supplier partners. The purpose of the new KeHE DIVERSEtrade™ program is to source woman, minority-owned, LGBT certified and veteran-owned suppliers by helping them navigate distribution by removing barriers and increasing opportunities for success.
“The industry looks to KeHE as a leader in both product trends and how to use business as a force for good,” says Laura McCord, Executive Director of Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility, KeHE. “Our B Corp certification furthers that responsibility and we are measured on it every three years via a recertification process. In addition to highlighting our CAREtrade® partners who use their business to make a difference, our DIVERSEtrade™ suppliers shine a new light on the beauty of the unique perspectives shaping the food community.”
To participate in the program, a company must have a current Women’s Business Enterprise Natural Council (WBENC), National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NLCC), or U.S. Veteran Owned Business documentation on file with KeHE. More than 130 suppliers were accepted into the inaugural 2019 class.
“As consumers demand transparency and become more aware of the origin stories of their products, the people behind the company are as important to them as the ingredients,” said Katie Paul, Vice President of Category Management & Growth Solutions, KeHE. “We want to be a catalyst to help our retailers provide a strong mix of products with diverse backgrounds to their customers. In turn, the suppliers find success — more than 10% growth*, We encourage both suppliers and retailers to work together to utilize the power of storytelling by leveraging the greater mission to connect with the consumer on a deeper level.”
Annually, KeHE will induct new KeHE suppliers to the program. To ensure success of the program, KeHE has dedicated an internal employee committee to further support the DIVERSEtrade™ members. New suppliers interested in working with KeHE should visit RangeMe.com/KeHE.
With its nationwide distribution network, KeHE provides natural & organic, specialty & fresh products to chain and independent grocery and natural food stores and other specialty product retailers throughout North America. KeHE is an employee-owned, B Corporation certified, company with over 5,000 employees in the U.S. and Canada. Where KeHE Goes, Goodness Follows.® For more about KeHE, visit KeHE.com or check out our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, & LinkedIn.
*SPINS Woman & Minority-Owned Certified Brand Sales, Total US- Food Channel L52wk ending 9/8/2019