Perspective on CSR: Jeff Harmening of General Mills

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Perspective on CSR: Jeff Harmening of General Mills

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Interview w/Jeff Harmening, president of the Big G cereals division http://3bl.me/a8px7a on what #csr means at @GeneralMills
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Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 5:25pm

by Kevin Hunt

Today, we continue our series of posts designed to provide more context into corporate social responsibility (CSR) at General Mills, with Jeff Harmening, president of the Big G cereals division at General Mills.

We released our 2012 Global Responsibility report (and video) last week. So I sat down with Jeff to discuss his perspective on CSR.

In this video clip, Jeff responds to my question about how corporate social responsibility is built into the culture at General Mills.

Jeff also says it’s important for our employees to live out the company’s values, every day.

“The real question comes down to ‘what are consumers experiencing with the products you’re selling to them, and how does what you feel corporately weave its way into the lives of the people who are working for the company?’” says Jeff. “There’s a tremendous pride that we all have in working for General Mills, and it is a pride born out of the principles and values that we have as a company.”

And, in terms of Big G, Jeff said one of the biggest areas of impact in CSR for the company is our commitment to whole grain.

“One of the things that I’m most proud of in Big G is the amount of whole grain that we’ve been able to add to the diets of American consumers,” Jeff says. “We supply more than 10 percent with Big G alone, of all the whole grains that Americans eat. We’re really proud of that. And we’ve increased the amount of whole grain in all of our cereals, so now whole grain is the first ingredient in all of our cereals.

“I think this is a reflection of who we are as a company, and I think it gives some tangible evidence to the things that we tell other people that we’re about, that we really are about. It takes this notion of global corporate responsibility and brings it home to all the families that we serve. And as a food company, that’s important.”

Editor’s note: This is the third post in a series about our 2012 Global Responsibility report featuring leaders within General Mills. The first post was written by Kim Nelson, senior vice president of External Relations. The second post featured John Machuzick, president of our Bakeries & Foodservice division.

Kevin Hunt is the social media manager in Corporate Communications for General Mills, based in Minneapolis, Minn. He manages the editorial content for "A Taste of General Mills." He also represents the company on its social media accounts. He began his career at General Mills in 2010.