<p>By: Cynthia Brazzel, Senior Director, Member Relations and Advocacy (Western Region), FMI </p><img src="https://www.fmi.org/images/default-source/blog-images/diverse-workplace-collaboration.tmb-large-350-.jpg?Culture=en&sfvrsn=c6ab4f6b_1" style="float:right;margin-bottom:10px;margin-left:10px;" class="-align-right" alt="Supplier Diversity" sf-size="100" /><p>Supplier diversity programs have become increasingly vital for promoting economic growth, creating opportunities for underrepresented businesses and fostering inclusivity. Implementing a supplier diversity program allows grocers and food manufacturers to drive business, improve customer choices, enhance brand reputation, reflect their community and demonstrate corporate social responsibility. Embracing supplier diversity is a strategic business decision and a step towards fostering a more inclusive and equitable society.</p><p>A supplier diversity program can be transformational in various aspects, including economic, cultural, market, supply chain and customer dimensions. By embracing diversity and inclusivity, a grocer realizes tangible business benefits and contributes to a broader transformational impact that fosters positive change throughout the food supply chain, ultimately to the consumer’s at-shelf experience. </p><p>From a shopper’s perspective, FMI’s recent <a href="https://www.fmi.org/our-research/research-reports/u-s-grocery-shopper-trends"><em>U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends</em></a> report revealed that shoppers are employing a wide range of filters to define good value. The meaning of "good value" is becoming more complex as consumers navigate grocery aisles. Having a choice among brands is part of the shoppers’ new mindset on relevance. </p><p>Supplier diversity programs provide access to a pool of talented entrepreneurs and business owners who may offer unique perspectives and expertise. Diverse suppliers bring fresh ideas, cultural insights, and specialized skills that can enhance a grocer’s operations and competitiveness. </p><p>The FMI Supplier Diversity Committee teamed up with <a href="https://rgma.com/" target="_blank">RGMA</a>, a consultancy specializing in supplier diversity, that identified ten key components essential for developing a world-class supplier diversity program. These were applied in the <a href="https://www.fmi.org/industry-topics/supplier-diversity">FMI Supplier Diversity Next/Best Practices Guide</a>. These components provide a comprehensive framework for food retailers and manufacturers to establish a robust and effective supplier diversity program. </p><img src="https://www.fmi.org/images/default-source/blog-images/supplier-diversity-rgma-10-components-chart.png?sfvrsn=f5965528_1" style="margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;" alt="The RGMA 10 Components of a World Class Supplier Diversity Program" sf-size="100" /><p>By incorporating these ten RGMA components, grocery retailers and manufacturers can establish a world-class supplier diversity program that cultivates a thriving supplier business ecosystem. Grocery retailers are in a position to make a positive impact in their communities while driving innovation and choice for their customers.
</p><p>James Harris, Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion & Supplier Diversity, H-E-B, and Chair, FMI Supplier Diversity Committee, shared that "The FMI Supplier Diversity Committee has appropriately named the third white paper: <strong>FMI Supplier Diversity Next/Best Practices Guide</strong>." He adds "We created the resource to show how supplier diversity is used to gain market share, sales, profits and commitment to localization."
</p><p>The new guide is written from the lens of retailers, wholesalers, and consumer package goods companies, regardless of the maturity of their supplier diversity program.</p><p><a href="https://www.fmi.org/industry-topics/supplier-diversity/supplier-diversity-case-studies" class="button">Read case studies</a> <a href="https://www.fmi.org/forms/store/ProductFormPublic/supplier-diversity-best-practices-guide" class="button">Download guide</a></p>