HORSHAM, PA. — Under a supplier diversity program launched by Bimbo Bakeries USA, the company will partner with “vendors with diverse experience, viewpoints and backgrounds.”

Elements of the supplier program were described in “Our Foundation of Belonging,” BBU’s 2021 Diversity, Equity and Belonging report published June 14. The report also describes progress the company made in its diversity, equity and inclusion program during 2021.

The annual report features three-year goals and commitments that are part of the company’s Workforce, Workplace and Marketplace strategic framework.

“We are committed to building a workforce, creating a work environment and establishing a meaningful presence in the marketplace that actively promotes diversity and equity, and ultimately achieves belonging for our associates and within our communities,” said Nikki Lang, head of diversity, equity and belonging at BBU.

Under the company’s supplier diversity program, all new suppliers will be required to fill out a supplier diversity questionnaire as part of the implementation process for vendors in its systems. Additionally, the company is partnering with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, which will offer referrals and introductions to minority business enterprises and off its only database of minority certified MBEs.

Establishing as an objective that the company’s workforce looks like its consumers, customers and markets, BBU said it is setting representation goals that align with business practices to measure progress and ensure internal and external credibility.

The company seeks to improve executive diversity representation in executive positions, including vice president, senior director and director level positions.

Toward that end, all diverse interview slates must be 50% diverse where at least half of the candidates are “diverse, including no less than 25% being female and 25% who are racially diverse.”

“By 2024, all racially diverse senior managers will be assigned a BBU leader to help outline a clearly defined path,” the company said.

Other elements of the DEI report included:

  • All salaried associates are required to take at least 1.5 hours of Racial Equity Strategy Training (REST) annually to continue BBU’s commitment to educate its associates on topics related to its Diversity, Equity and Belonging strategy.
  • BBU pledged to ensure diversity and equity across its marketing, inviting BBU’s racial equity action council into the company’s marketing assets review process.

The report was issued 15 months after BBU first announced an initiative to combat racial inequity and injustice and to create positive lasting change. In addition to supporting organizations dedicated to serving the needs of Black and other minority communities, the company formed the racial equity action council.

The council’s purpose is to “identify, propose and create actions and processes that will drive change by leading workstreams that prioritize and execute the strategy,” BBU said.

Announcing the effort in March 2021, BBU said it would donate $1 million to national and local organizations “dedicated to furthering the education, financial well-being and health of minority communities” and named Ms. Lang as its head of diversity, equity and belonging.

In the June report, BBU said in 2021 the company invested the $1 million in organizations meeting the criteria announced in March 2021.

“Recognizing we have much more work to do, we have established goals and commitments for the next three years to ensure that we remain results-oriented,” said Fred Penny, president of BBU. “Our goals are ambitious because we know that Bimbo Bakeries USA can be a leader in Diversity, Equity and Belonging.”