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Manufacturing Industry Updates

Coalition Launched to Address Food Industry’s Greatest Challenges

MBOLD is a new coalition that brings together Minnesota’s array of global leaders to address major challenges facing the food and agriculture sectors. (iStock/UserGI15633745)

On World Food Day, Oct. 16, CEOs and executive leaders from some of the largest food and agriculture companies and research institutions launched MBOLD, a coalition that brings together Minnesota’s array of global leaders to address major challenges facing the food and agriculture sectors.

MBOLD’s members reach consumers in more than 125 countries and have combined annual revenues exceeding $250 billion. The coalition includes CEOs and other c-suite leaders from Cargill, Compeer Financial, Ecolab, General Mills, Hormel Foods, Land O’ Lakes Inc., Schwan’s Company, Target and the University of Minnesota, as well as the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, the Minnesota AgriGrowth Council, Grow North and McKinsey & Co.

“The MBOLD coalition seeks to harness the power, reach and expertise of our members to accelerate practical solutions to pressing global challenges and drive real impact,” said Jeff Harmening, chairman and CEO of General Mills and co-chair of MBOLD. “Minnesota’s unique cluster of leaders is collaborating on some of the biggest challenges facing our food system and we are poised to lead the way to a more sustainable future.”

Through the MBOLD coalition, leaders are working to accelerate solutions to a range of challenges. The coalition said its priority areas include:

  • Soil Health and Water Stewardship — As climate change continues to strain the natural resources that nourish our world, MBOLD is working to develop more regenerative and resilient agriculture systems that build soil health, protect water resources and diversify farm incomes.
  • Circular Economies for Packaging — Massive amounts of flexible film packaging are used every year within and beyond our food system, but in the U.S. less than 4% of that packaging is recycled. MBOLD said it is committed to changing that by fueling development of a circular economy for flexible films.
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship — MBOLD is bringing together the disruptive thinking of entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world with the acumen and reach of large global companies to drive solutions to today’s major challenges. 
  • Food Insecurity in The Face of COVID-19 — COVID-19 is causing unprecedented economic hardships and accelerating food insecurity in the United States and around the world. MBOLD is exploring ways for the private and public sectors to find solutions together.
  • Talent — MBOLD is mobilizing a world-class workforce with the talent and commitment to accelerate progress to the biggest challenges in food and agriculture. 

“MBOLD embodies the unique strength of our region, and through the collective commitments, there is an opportunity to have outsized impact,” said Stephanie Lundquist, president of food and beverage at Target and MBOLD co-chair. “By working together to ideate, innovate and drive action on the ground, we can accelerate change and progress for some of the most critical challenges in the food system.”