Meet Alyson: How Being a Farmer’s Daughter Informs this Global Food Leader
Proud to play a part in Kellogg delivering 3 Billion Better Days before 2025.
My mother, Pauline, is an “eco-warrior.” She was a farmer who grew barley, wheat and potatoes. She also raised livestock and was the largest regional producer of cage-free eggs – something practically unheard of 40 years ago. So, the notion of being close to the land is in my DNA.
From an early age, my mum helped us understand what is nourishing and taught us to appreciate that all food is good, it’s frequency that matters. Even today, she’s always thinking about her impact on the planet and I continue to learn so much from her.
If you can’t tell yet, family and well-being are very important to me!
Early on, I considered following mum into farming, but I eventually decided to pursue a degree in clinical nutrition and dietetics before moving into public health and nutrition. Today, I have the opportunity to work closely with Amy Senter, our Chief Sustainability Officer, and others on our teams, to set the strategy that results in Kellogg foods that not only taste great, but also address our company’s commitment to overall well-being around the world, including: Physical well-being with the right balance of macro- and micro-nutrients that create a diverse microbiome to support immune health, mood and sleep; Emotional well-being that occurs when food brings people together; and Societal well-being by sustainably producing and ensuring access to our nutritious foods.
As a farmer’s daughter, being able to work at the intersection of personal and planetary health feels like I’ve come home. My Kellogg career started in 2002, just nine months after our daughter, Mia, was born. At the time, I was the first woman in our United Kingdom operation with a four-day workweek. I knew I wanted more balance while our children were young, but working a shortened schedule certainly wasn’t the norm at the time. Now, when I see the incredible amount of workplace flexibility we have, I’m proud of helping to set the stage for my colleagues to do what is right for themselves and their families.
Another thing I’m especially proud of is our new partnership with the Chef’s Manifesto, a community of chefs around the world working toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #2 ‒ Zero Hunger. Chefs’ Manifesto members are helping us to better bridge the gap between the farm and the fork. Together we’re understanding how to best leverage plant and nutrient density, reduce waste and eliminate hidden hunger.
In my global role, and with 17 years of experience at Kellogg, I’m often asked for career advice. I always recommend being open to saying ‘yes’ and trying something new. The roles we’ll do in the future don’t exist today. And most important, know where you get your energy from. For me, I have to know I’m making a difference, adding value and being challenged.