Supplier Diversity Benefits Everyone

Every February, since President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month during the country’s bicentennial, the U.S. celebrates the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans who have both advanced and altered our nation in ways that make it stronger. Black History Month seeks to honor their diverse cultural heritage, achievements and adversities that are a significant part of our country’s history. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were more than a record number 2 million black-owned businesses in 2021. While significant strides have been made, the pandemic has dealt a crushing blow to countless businesses, especially those that are black-, minority- and women-owned. 

For this reason, among others, many companies have embraced a growing movement to work with Minority and Business Enterprises (MWBEs). The positive downstream effects of supplier diversity are incredibly impactful. Companies with a strong supplier diversity program are better equipped to stimulate the local economy, generate more opportunities for disadvantaged communities through job creation and pay higher wages, as well advance suppliers and their generational growth. 

Supporting MWBEs has been central to Compass Group’s culture for more than 25 years, starting with a strategic partnership forged with Thompson Hospitality, the largest minority-owned, family-run, award-winning contract foodservice and facilities management company in the U.S. Thompson Hospitality Corporation has been routinely recognized for its continuous commitment to diversity promotion in business and community cultivation by way of college scholarships and volunteerism. 

Our commitment has continued to grow courtesy of Foodbuy, the sole procurement partner for Compass Group and its sectors. We steadily source MWBE suppliers who account for over $500 million in annual contracted spend. Its Diverse Supplier Accelerator Program provides training and mentorship for up-and-coming suppliers, helping them meet the criteria and standards to become a Compass Group MWBE supplier. Hear more about it directly from Foodbuy’s CEO here

As we celebrate Black History Month, Compass Group and Foodbuy are pleased to recognize one of our MWBE suppliers, BLK & Bold, as the first and only black-owned (MBE certified), nationally distributed coffee supplier, which also happens to be a fully-certified B Corp. BLK & Bold contributes 5% of its profits to initiatives across the U.S. that support disadvantaged domestic youth. Co-founders Pernell Cezar and Jarrhod (Rod) Johnson share both a passion for coffee and a desire to give back. We invite you to hear from them on our Diversity Matters podcast.

Black History Month offers a renewed reminder to give visibility to those people and organizations creating change. Compass Group works hard to reflect our diverse country, and we’d like to help you do so as well. Interested or intrigued? Let’s take time to talk!