For Fast Company’s Shape of Tomorrow series, we’re asking business leaders to share their inside perspective on how the COVID-19 era is transforming their industries. Here’s what’s been lost—and what could be gained—in the new world order.
John Church is the chief supply chain officer for General Mills, the parent company for brands including Cheerios, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Progresso, Häagen-Dazs, and more.
We’ve always prioritized human safety and food safety at General Mills, but COVID has tested us like never before. As China started getting exposed to this and we began to understand what the government was mandating, we became early adopters here of things like temperature checks, mask use, social distancing. We had our masks and thermometers on order before the CDC said we should, because we’d learned enough and knew that taking these precautions wouldn’t hurt.
The food industry doesn’t move all that quickly. There are swings and shifts in categories as…