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MaryAnne Howland leads discussions on diversity in the food system; attendees can access her educational series and earn J.E.D.I. 3.0 certification.

Gianna Rosenbach, Content Creator, CPG and Digital

April 23, 2022

2 Min Read
Natural Products Business School: Learn to prioritize equity in food systems, economy
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One highlight of Natural Products Business School’s packed agenda undoubtedly will be the session offered by MaryAnne Howland, the president and CEO of Ibis Communications and the founder and CEO of Global Diversity Leadership Exchange.

This session, “Diversity of America Defines the Food Industry,” will be at 11:25 a.m. ET  Wednesday, April 27,  on the Natural Products Expo Virtual Community platform. It will address themes including globalization to localization, plant diversity and multiculturalism, innovation and implications of urban heat and the power of J.E.D.I.

Howland—a leader in inclusive marketing and branding communications aimed at creating equitable social impact—works with brands in the natural products industry to create culturally inclusive missions, which in turn help improve food systems and promote a regenerative economy. Among the ways she challenges brands is asking them to examine whether they do business from a mindset of shared abundance for all—a business model that she insists is not about giving something up, rather about finding ways to create a universal benefit. Howland also encourages brands to be creative in their approach to business and to think long term when it comes to their business models.

J.E.D.I. 3.0 workshops available after the program

Natural Products Business School session attendees will also gain access to a series of eight workshops Howland offers. The on-demand workshops will roll out on the NPEV platform over the coming months.

Beginning April 27, the first two workshops kick off this educational series that is geared toward helping C-suite and senior level executives explore ways to take their social responsibility to the next level and deliver on their commitments to end systemic racism.

This J.E.D.I. 3.0 workshop series will include the following workshops:

  • Brand bolding: Intentionality and the language of leadership.

  • What is full inclusion? Zero waste of time and talent.

  • Defining equity from scratch: What are you willing to gain?

  • Success in rare air: Opportunity from fresh perspective.

  • Building equity in a reputation for “?”: The power of influence and partnerships, who should you know?

  • Influencing public policy: Who are you willing to fight for?

  • Accountability: It’s not just public, it’s personal.

  • The new you.


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Natural Products Business School supports emerging brands in finding the resources and information needed to fuel growth and scale impact. Natural Products Business School takes place virtually on Natural Products Expo Virtual (NPEV) Community on April 27 and August 10, and is accessible to NPEV All-Access Members. Join NPEV Community today for exclusive access to premium content and education, industry benefits, retailer connections and more throughout 2022. 

About the Author(s)

Gianna Rosenbach

Content Creator, CPG and Digital, New Hope Network

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