Simple Mills, a pioneer in the clean-food snacking space that ranks as the #1 baking mix, #1 cracker and #3 cookie brand in the natural category, has announced the appointment of a new vice president and a new board member who will help the company integrate sustainability, regenerative agriculture and strategic sourcing strategies into its product design and supply chain. Joining the executive team and board of directors are:
- Shauna Sadowski, vice president of sustainability - Sadowski previously served as the head of sustainability for the Natural & Organic Operating Unit at General Mills, spanning the Annie's, Epic, Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen brands. She has also served as Vice President of Sustainability & 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' 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, Board Member - 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 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 mark an extension of Simple Mills' mission from changing the way consumers eat to also include changing the way that food is grown. The goal is to combine the company's better-for-you food options with agricultural practices that benefit the economic health of farming communities and the environmental health of the planet through outcomes such as 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, Simple Mills 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.