Why do we use citrus as a metaphor?
As we set our Better for All strategy, we looked to the world around us for inspiration. The main message of our metaphor is that our planet and all people, those we impact directly and indirectly, are part of one interconnected system, just like the natural world.
The fruit’s seeds represent our people – they are what propel our strategy and are central to everything we do.
Our people exist within communities, which are represented by the fruit’s segments of various shapes and sizes.
Our people and communities are all contained by the fruit’s protective rind – our Earth. If we damage the rind, then the segments dry out and the seeds are put at risk.
We prioritize these focus areas because they are where we can affect the greatest change and move the needle the most over the next decade. We interact with these topics at multiple points along our value chain – both directly and indirectly.
A Letter from Leadership
UNFI is proud to serve as a connector in the food system, creating linkages between and among growers, suppliers, manufacturers, retail customers, and consumers. This role requires us to maintain flexibility and responsiveness in an ever- changing landscape. Inflation pressure, supply chain disruption, and climate change-induced natural disasters demonstrate the importance and urgency of effective, collaborative action across our value chain.
We've started a multi-year transformation plan designed to optimize and automate our supply chain and distribution center network, create commercial value by streamlining our go-to-market strategy for our customers and suppliers, strengthen our digital offerings, and provide deeper consumer insights, while unifying and modernizing our technology infrastructure. Through the enhancement of our systems and purposeful integration of our Better for All strategy into everyday business, we’re creating ‘One UNFI’ – a unified and technology-enabled service experience across our value chain. In doing so, we're not only reinforcing our value proposition, but also strengthening our ability to drive systemic change in the food industry.
In recognition of the inherent interconnections between our Better for All focus areas, we are driving accountability throughout our business with a focus on our most pressing impact areas – safety, well-being & belonging, waste, climate, sourcing, and community – all of which are grounded by the cross-functional governance mechanisms we have in place. In FY2023, we published a formal deforestation policy, launched the Climate Action Partnership, and advocated for continued federal financial incentives for farmers adopting climate-smart agricultural practices. We completed the installation of our largest solar array to date at our Howell, NJ distribution center, and aligned the reporting structures and strategies of our Associate Well-Being and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion teams. We also launched an inventory management system that allows for greater visibility and timely decision making around waste diversion, and solidified a new UNFI Foundation strategic plan focused on creating a more sustainable and equitable food system.
While we have much more work to do, we hope these measures, and the many others demonstrated within this Better for All report, more broadly reinforce our accountability to UNFI’s stakeholders and our industry as a whole. As our approach becomes more advanced each year, I value the way our associates and partners continue to offer their unique and innovative perspectives, each one bringing us closer toward a world that is better for all.
Chief Executive Officer & President