What has been your proudest career accomplishment within the last year?
Consistent efforts from the past five years came to fruition, and I was recognized as a Sustainability Honoree at New York University’s State of Sustainability Address in April 2021.
What would you like to accomplish in your career in the short-term? Long-term?
Getting the company’s sustainability performance metrics to pre-COVID levels while incorporating the ongoing changes is the foremost priority in the short term. In the long term, I would be keen to make the organization as the front-runner in the field of food systems and sustainability and set an example to broaden the collective vision for a sustainable planet.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
The perception that the foodservice industry is predominantly male-oriented, and women are kept on the sidelines is the biggest challenge I have had to overcome by far. This is due to the preconceived notion that women do not integrate and thereby do not thrive within the existing framework of the foodservice industry.
What's the one thing you wish you could change about the industry?
Increased efficiency in the foodservice sector requires a much-needed change. With the incorporation of technology at various levels of the foodservice supply and delivery chain, such solutions can immensely benefit the industry at large. Although, these solutions have been demonstrated by a few organizations, mass adoption will dramatically reduce the costs and make it more feasible.
One such example would be RFID tags for live tracking of food items right from packing at the source or a freshness sensor tag which does not rely on the expiry date, but rather on the actual state of the food qualifying it as fit or unfit for consumption. This would bring in an increased level of transparency and avoid significant food waste, both of which have always been a priority for me.
How do you think the industry will change in the next five years, and how will that impact your goals?
Sustainability will continue to be the prime focus and occupy the center stage as far as policies and regulations within the foodservice industry are concerned. With such consistent increase in these priorities, the industry will experience heightened demand for transparent sourcing and clean, plant-rich diets while also having a proactive approach to the nourishment of the body and mind.