To maintain your status as an industry leader, it’s important to ensure that top-notch leadership is in place. Simple Mills is doing just this, recently announcing its appointment of a new Vice President of Sustainability, Shauna Sadowski, and Board Member, Amanda Steele. The two will aid in integrating sustainability, regenerative agriculture, and strategic sourcing strategies into the company’s product design and supply chain.
Sadowski previously served as the Head of Sustainability for the Natural and Organic Operating Unit at General Mills, spanning the Annie's, Epic, Cascadian Farm, and Muir Glen brands. She also served as the Vice President of Sustainability and Industry Relations at Annie's; in various sustainability roles at Fork in the Road Foods, Clif Bar, and BSR; and as a Board Member at the Sustainable Food Trade Association and The Climate Collaborative. In 2019, she earned Green Biz's Verge Vanguard honors for her work in regenerative agriculture, providing business incentives for soil health, promoting biodiversity, along with other environmental benefits.
According to a press release, Steele is currently Chief Marketing Officer at Agriculture Capital, a regenerative agriculture and food investment firm. She previously held posts as Senior Vice President of Marketing for Numi Organic Tea, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Annie's Homegrown, and Marketing Director for Safeway, where she managed the turnaround of O Organics. Earlier in her career, she managed strategic businesses and innovation at Nestle.
The appointments build on Simple Mills' mission of changing the way consumers eat, now pivoting to change the way that food is grown. The goal is to combine the company's better-for-you food options with agricultural practices to promote improved soil health and biodiversity, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and increased carbon sequestration.
The company launched its first initiatives in this area earlier this year by establishing direct contract relationships with several farmers. These partnerships provide financial incentives for adopting regenerative agriculture practices as well as purchase guarantees for the resulting crops.
Sadowski and Steele will further those initial efforts by helping Simple Mills define a long-term strategy and roadmap for advancing regenerative agriculture through its future product launches and partnering with growers to create a pipeline of ingredients that promote regenerative agriculture principles.
"What we eat matters, and so does where and how our food is grown. Whether it's cover crops, crop rotations, or any number of other regenerative agriculture practices, improving the quality of the food supply is directly connected to the quality of the ingredients sourced from growers," said Katlin Smith, CEO and Founder. "Shauna and Amanda bring deep expertise in sustainability and regenerative agriculture that will not only help us elevate farming and associated ingredient sourcing practices for our own needs but also, hopefully, inspire other food companies to join the movement to heal the planet through better farming."
Steele's role was filled with the assistance of the Women on Boards Project, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the number of women serving on boards while also expanding diversity including race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and gender fluidity. Both appointments are effective immediately.
Congratulations to both of these industry leaders on their exciting new roles!