KeHE Distributors has announced a new initiative to help woman-, minority-, LGBT- and veteran-owned suppliers navigate distribution channels.
More than 130 suppliers were accepted into the inaugural 2019 class of the DiverseTrade program, the Naperville, Ill.-based natural foods distributor said.
“The industry looks to KeHE as a leader in both product trends and how to use business as a force for good,” Laura McCord, executive director of sustainability and corporate responsibility for KeHE, said in a statement. “Our B Corp certification furthers that responsibility, and we are measured on it every three years via a recertification process. In addition to highlighting our CareTrade partners who use their business to make a difference, our DiverseTrade suppliers shine a new light on the beauty of the unique perspectives shaping the food community.”
To participate in the program, a company must have a current Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, National Minority Supplier Development Council, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce or U.S. Veteran Owned Business documentation on file with KeHE.
KeHE said new suppliers will be added to the program annually, and that brands interested in participating should visit RangeMe.com/Kehe.
“As consumers demand transparency and become more aware of the origin stories of their products, the people behind the company are as important to them as the ingredients,” said Katie Paul, VP of category management and growth solutions for KeHE. “We want to be a catalyst to help our retailers provide a strong mix of products with diverse backgrounds to their customers. In turn, the suppliers find success—more than 10% growth. We encourage both suppliers and retailers to work together to utilize the power of storytelling by leveraging the greater mission to connect with the consumer on a deeper level.”