Cal Poly to Host Panel Discussion on Sustainability in the Food Retail Sector on May 10

April 27, 2016
Contact: Center for Sustainability
SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Cal Poly Center for Sustainability will host a panel discussion on sustainability in the food retail sector from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, in Room 220 in the University Union on campus.
Industry leaders from Grocery Outlet, Ralph’s and Whole Foods will discuss how today’s retail industry is responding to sustainability challenges and will address specific successes and challenges in implementing sustainability programs in their respective companies.
Panelists include Eric Lindberg, co-CEO, Grocery Outlet; Kendra Doyel, vice president of public relations and government affairs, Ralph’s and Food 4 Less; and James Parker, global associate perishables senior coordinator, Whole Foods Market.
The discussion will be followed by a question-and-answer period moderated by Professor Ricky Volpe of Cal Poly’s Agribusiness Department. Volpe, a former U.S. Department of Agriculture economist, teaches food retail, supply chain management, transportation logistics and data analysis, all part of the department’s new food retail and supply chain management emphasis area.
Lindberg began his career at Grocery Outlet in 1996 and became co-CEO in 2006. He and MacGregor Read lead the privately held, third-generation family business that was founded in 1946.
Doyel began her tenure at Kroger, parent company of Ralph’s and Food 4 Less, in 1998 and was recently recognized by Progressive Grocer Magazine as a “Top Women in Grocery Rising Star.” She has a passion for gang reduction in inner cities, working with Homeboy Industries to develop creative and sustainable ways to support programs that provide jobs and education.
Parker joined Whole Foods in 1986 and has since helped open more than 60 stores throughout the U.S. His office oversees the large-scale sourcing, purchasing, distribution, forecasting and accounting of Whole Foods’ produce and floral goods.
This panel discussion is part of Cal Poly’s Center for Sustainability’s quarterly Sustainable Ag Lecture Series and is co-sponsored by the Agribusiness Department. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, visit
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