In 2022, society confronted some of the same daunting challenges as in years past – a pressing climate crisis, political dissension and turmoil on a global scale, persistent attacks on historically marginalized communities, inflation eroding consumers purchasing power, continued supply chain obstacles, and a collective need for safe community spaces. In the face of these challenges, we continue to listen and learn, live our values, and find ways to make steady progress toward our ambitions.
Now in our 12th year of environmental and social reporting, UNFI is even more prepared to tackle the issues and opportunities that lie ahead. We’ve expanded and diversified our leadership team, reorganized our structure to better execute against our Fuel the Future strategy, worked with our network of suppliers and brands to gain knowledge about our upstream impacts, and continued engaging our stakeholders to better understand the impacts we have on our customers, communities, and broader systems. We’ve invested both time and resources to support our supply chain partners, improve our associates’ quality of life, and evaluate our path to decarbonization. And, most importantly, we’ve made a focused effort to holistically integrate Better for All throughout UNFI.
As a result, our stakeholders saw tangible results. The Science Based Targets initiative validated our climate targets, we more than doubled our spend with diverse suppliers, and the UNFI Foundation awarded its largest-ever grant for food equity. We’ve also taken inventory of where we still have room to grow. We’ve learned more about where we can divert waste, especially food waste, and how we can improve transparency throughout the value chain.
What is exciting to me, as CEO, is that while the core of UNFI’s mission has remained consistent over the years, it also continues to take on new meaning as our organization evolves with the world around us. Our efforts are ever-changing and the contributions from our associates throughout the organization are invaluable. No matter our job titles or specific responsibilities, we are all part of a team that rises to the occasion. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved in 2022 and can’t wait to see what we accomplish in 2023.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER