March 8th is International Women’s Day, and while this day means different things to different people, it’s often seen as a time to reflect on progress and celebrate as women continue to make meaningful contributions to social, economic, cultural, and political achievements worldwide.
At Albertsons Companies (which includes our 18 banners such as Albertsons, Safeway, ACME, Shaw’s, Star Market and others), we strongly support qualified women-owned businesses and a diverse supplier base. The mission of our Supplier Diversity Program is to promote supplier participation reflective of the diverse communities in which our family of stores does business, while encouraging economic development. We will continue to work towards offering a greater selection of local products as well as products from women-owned businesses and other diverse suppliers. Many of the entrepreneurs, whose products or services we have accepted, have expanded their businesses through our vast distribution network of more than 2,200 neighborhood grocery stores in communities across the country.
One of our top suppliers is Sun Belle Inc., a certified Women Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) led by President and Founder Janice Honigberg. The Sun Belle team has vast experience growing, shipping, handling, marketing and merchandising fresh produce commodities, particularly raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Honigberg herself has an impressive track record. Not only does she speak at least four languages, but she has built the successful multinational company she envisioned when embarking on her career and is celebrating Sun Belle’s 30th anniversary this year. In addition to introducing the first greenhouse grown tomato on the vine to the American market in 1992, Honigberg identified the Erika raspberry grown in a test plot in the Italian Alps and brought it to the Americas in 2007 where it is flourishing in Mexico and soon will be grown in the United States.
Another of our top suppliers, Jelmar, LLC, is a certified WBE cleaning-product company led by President and CEO Alison Gutterman. They have a vast array of product lines including the well-known Tarn-X and CLR cleaners. Jelmar received the Safer Choice U.S. EPA 2015 Partner of the Year award for their outstanding leadership in advancing Safer Products in the Formulator – Manufacturer Category. Jelmar was also one of the first WBE’s to feature the women-owned business logo on its products. According to Gutterman, she is very passionate about the role of women in the global economy and the importance of consumers knowing that women are major contributors to the entrepreneurial marketplace throughout the world.
Our Fair Trade CertifiedTM suppliers are also a great example of diverse female contributors to the global marketplace. Fair Trade USA empowers women to be leaders in their communities. The certification program requires freedom from sexual harassment, and provides access to education, women’s health services and certain job rights. Thanks to customers who purchased Fair Trade Certified products such as coffee, produce, and seafood from any of the Albertsons Companies family of stores over the past two years, more than $730,000 in Community Development Premiums was sent directly back to the producer communities. In addition to receiving a fair wage for their products, producers can vote on how to best use these premiums to develop their own communities (such as scholarship funds, women’s co-ops, or maternity leave funds). Empowering women through new opportunities can help them imagine a future where they can they be their own boss.
These are just a few of the many women who inspire us at Albertsons Companies and enable us to offer quality products on our shelves. Who inspires you?
– See more at: http://www.justmeans.com/article/albertsons-companies-celebrates-international-womens-day#sthash.eZgzmvQU.dpuf