Embracing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Food Industry

With Black History Month in full swing, now is an opportune time to take a look at how diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), is supported and advanced within the food industry. The food industry touches everyone, every day, so the interests of all stakeholders must be recognized. Consumers in minority communities want to know that people who look like them are among the leadership ranks, advocating for their needs and desires. And leaders should be representative of the communities they serve to ensure the appropriate insights are considered.

People of color want to know they have opportunities for employment and promotion. Diverse suppliers want the opportunities to provide products and services, build thriving businesses and grow wealth for future generations. It is reassuring to know that food companies and the organizations that support them, are making great strides in implementing strategies to ensure all employees, customers and suppliers are valued.


A leader in the foodservice space, Sysco endeavors to provide the training, initiatives, and programs to ensure the company culture is conducive to inclusion. Associate resource groups (ARGs) provide an opportunity for employees to connect and offer support to one another. The company works with their leadership around the world to ensure “key business practices are aligned with DEI initiatives.” Sysco has also partnered with several organizations - the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and others - to enhance its supplier diversity efforts. The company works with many diverse suppliers – 500 to be exact.

FMI (The Food Industry Association)

During the annual Midwinter Executive Conference, held January 2021, leaders from Schnucks, Ahold Delhaize, and PepsiCo came together to discuss DEI successes and challenges. Out of the panel discussion came five ideas that are helpful to any organization serious about pushing the DEI envelope.

  1. Define specific DEI goals and tie them to the organization’s sales goals.
  2. Provide a platform for listening to customers and team members.
  3. Tell your diversity story. Tell others what your organization has done to support DEI.
  4. Anticipate enthusiasm around DEI and have a plan for those who want to participate.
  5. Take action and require accountability. Keep DEI goals front and center by talking about them frequently.

Darden Concepts

The parent company of eight restaurant chains, including Cheddar’s and Olive Garden, Darden takes a three-pronged approach to diversity, equity and inclusion: 1) Advance workplace diversity by seeking diverse leaders, ensuring diversity is reflected at all levels, and sharing hiring and development best practices across all brands. 2) Create an inclusive environment by furthering awareness, equipping leaders with tools and resources, and utilizing employee resource groups. 3) Build on the (DEI) commitment by supporting the community and investing in diverse suppliers.

Whether providing development opportunities to help motivated minority employees to advance, or ensuring supply chains include diverse suppliers, companies in the food industry understand how these positive actions influence successful outcomes. These efforts are also good for business. Great ideas come from individuals of every color, ethnicity, and background.

DeltaTrak is a minority business enterprise (MBE) leading the industry in cold chain/supply chain innovation. For ideas on how to enhance your supply chain visibility, call us today at 800-962-6776.


"Supplier Diversity: Diversity plays an important role in every aspect of our business, all the way to our Suppliers”, 2022, Sysco Corporation, accessed 2/16/22

Ensuring an Inclusive & Diverse Culture”, 2022, Darden Concepts, Inc., accessed 2/16/2022.

5 Lessons Learned: Moving the Needle on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Grocery Industry”, January 28, 2021, Winsight Grocery Business, accessed 2/16/22.

Author: Temesa Lewis

Temesa Lewis is a Marketing Communications Writer with DeltaTrak, Inc. Her professional background includes roles in sales/account management, human resources and training.

Visit Temesa Lewis's profile


  • DeltaTrak’s Real Time Loggers have been a game changer for our trucking program. Having the ability to monitor temperature while trucks are in transit has given us peace of mind knowing the quality of our product has not been compromised. The alert notifications, light sensors, and GPS tracking are just some of the great features that have allowed us to make pro active decisions that have strengthened the integrity of our product. The FlashTrak Cloud Service is easy to use and is a great tool to compare and analyze data. The FlashTrak App is super convenient as well. We have used other reliable DeltaTrak products for many years and we were excited to see these added to their lineup!

    Michelle Oetjens
    Senior Global Logistics Analyst-BFP
    Ball Horticultural Company

  • When it comes to making sense of data (in the supply chain) we have found a partner in DeltaTrak. The fact that I could recharge the real-time logger and the dual batteries made a lot of sense to me. It was user friendly and easy to use. With the uncertainty and complexity of today's supply chain, having an effective chain of custody system is not only a clever idea, but a requirement for effective handling of perishable goods.

    Henry Helms
    CH Logistics, Cape Town, South Africa

  • It is my pleasure to recommend DeltaTrak to your company. During these times of crisis, we were fortunate to work with DeltaTrak to source top of the line Non-Contact forehead thermometers and PPE supplies at a real market price.

    As a healthcare organization, we are a common target for price gouging and abusive practices from several vendors. With DeltaTrak, we found a partner that understands our needs and who always provide world class customer service.

    Luis Landgrave
    Procurement Manager
    Plum Healthcare Group LLC

  • Dear Fred, I would like express my appreciation for the good business relationship we have had during 2018. The excellent work of Mr. Jorge Hurtado has given me the confidence to continue maintaining our commercial relationship with the DeltaTrak brand.

    Mr. Jorge Hurtado's customer service efforts are outstanding, especially in finding solutions to the challenges that may arise in the commercial process. In my opinion Mr. Hurtado's professionalism is a model for any company, especially when the client is thousands of kilometers away from Modesto, CA. I look forward to strengthening our successful relationship into 2019.

    Valentin Bobadilla
    Valentin Bobadilla Centurion E.I.R.L.

  • We received the blankets yesterday and the quality was/is outstanding. Thank you for getting us a superior product, both our flowers and our customers thank you. :)

    Clint C.
    Aladdin's Floral

  • We have provided our trucks with your recorders for Walmart/Sam's and have not had any issues at all. Great recorders, small in size and easy to activate and place in the truck.

    Diego Calderon
    Delano Farms Company

  • Thank you Juan Solorzano for paying us a business call 4 years ago. The DeltaTrak brand is the majority of our Temp Recorder business. ALL our Walmart/Sam's orders carry the DeltaTrak Temp recorders for the past 4 years without a single problem with any Walmart DC. When you have a load of 18 different orders on a single truck and temp recorders on each order, WOW what a savings your DeltaTrak brand has save us. Yes, Walmart has accepted the DeltaTrak Model with no problems.

    Tony Contreras
    The Giumarra Companies, Reedley Cold Storage

  • This upcoming fall will mark our 4th full season using DeltaTrak recorders. They are competitively priced and the customer service is always exceptional. We have never had a customer issue with one of their units and we don’t expect to. We use a wide range of DeltaTrak products and we have been more than happy with every one of them.

    Bruce Densten
    Little Bear Produce