CHICAGO — Simple Mills, a provider of better-for-you crackers, cookies, snack bars and baking mixes, has hired a new vice president of sustainability and a new board member, both tasked with helping the company integrate sustainability, regenerative agriculture and strategic sourcing strategies into its product design and supply chain.
Shauna Sadowski has been named vice president of sustainability. Ms. Sadowski most recently was head of sustainability for the natural and organic operating unit at General Mills, Inc., spanning the company’s Annie’s, Epic, Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen brands. Earlier she was director of sustainability at Annie’s and director of sustainability at Fork in the Road Foods. She also was a sustainable food systems manager at Clif Bar & Co. Earlier in her career she was a consultant at Arthur Andersen and a research associate/analyst with Corporate Executive Board.
Ms. Sadowski has been a board member at the Sustainable Food Trade Association and The Climate Collaborative. In 2019, she earned GreenBiz’s Verge Vanguard honors for her work in regenerative agriculture, providing business incentives to growers for building soil health and promoting biodiversity among other environmental benefits.
Amanda Steele has been named to Simple Mills’ board of directors. Ms. Steele is currently chief marketing officer at Agriculture Capital, a regenerative agriculture and food investment firm that invests in permanent cropland and synergistic midstream assets to create a vertically integrated enterprise that grows, packs and markets high-value produce. She previously was senior vice president of marketing at Numi Organic Tea, senior vice president of marketing at Annie’s Homegrown, and marketing director at Safeway, where she managed the turnaround of O Organics. Earlier in her career, she managed strategic businesses and innovation at Nestle.
Simple Mills launched its first initiatives in sustainability 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.
“What we eat matters, and so does where and how our food is grown,” said Katlin Smith, founder and chief executive officer. “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.
“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.”