If you’ve been thinking over the past 18 months of running stores, solving supply chain issues, hiring staff, and keeping up with e-commerce growth, you may have missed the other pandemic.

The global communications company Edelman conducts a study called the “Trust Barometer” every year and this year revealed an epidemic of misinformation and widespread distrust of societal institutions. He described the situation as an endemic “infodemic”, with institutions such as business, government, NGOs and the media in an environment of information bankruptcy. Without reliable leadership sources to turn to, people don’t know where or from whom to get reliable information, according to Edelman, who noted that trust in all sources of information has dropped to record levels.

While other institutions were busy letting Americans down, grocers stood up when Americans needed it most. Throughout the pandemic, grocers have earned respect and trust through millions of daily interactions in stores and online. There were bumps here and there, as the large number of people served increased the odds of occasional disappointment, but nothing quite like the agglutination of grocers with the level of widespread institutional mistrust described by Edelman.

Things are going so badly, according to the company, that it has launched the Edelman Trust Institute, where work with clients will include exploring ways to bridge the trust gaps between the company and institutions. Meanwhile, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the leading professional services firm, also identified the trust as a business opportunity. He revealed a three-year, $ 300 million commitment “to embed trust-based principles at the heart of today’s and tomorrow’s business.” One aspect of his plan involves the creation of the PwC Trust Leadership Institute.

Between PwC and Edelman, a lot of money and energy is spent on, as CEO Richard Edelman puts it, “building a better understanding of trust and how it relates to success.”

Does this subject really require a lot of study? There is a strong correlation between confidence and success. The more you have of the first, the more you will have of the second. Grocers understand this, because when it comes to selling products that people feed to their families, they have to maintain a high level of trust with the buyers and the communities in which they operate or they will not work there. long time.

Retailers gain trust through their day-to-day interactions with shoppers, employees, and communities, but it’s not the only way. They also engage in a wide range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) activities that often go unnoticed. Grocers are a force for good in ways that are not always fully appreciated, as serving others is the foundation upon which the food and consumables industry was built.

At Progressive Grocer, we wanted to draw attention to the efforts of retailers, as well as vendors and solution providers, who make up the trusted ecosystem of the grocery industry. To recognize the exceptional efforts of industry leaders in nine key ESG areas, we created the Impact Awards. This program will amplify their achievements, showcase innovative approaches and further inspire the industry as a whole to greatness. We call this approach “honoring exceptionalism”.

Trust may be scarce in other sectors of the economy and in some institutions, but it is not in the grocery business. We look forward to highlighting some of the industry’s most exceptional efforts when we meet in person in early November in Orlando for Progressive Grocer’s Grocery Industry Week.

To nominate a deserving company for the Impact Awards, click here.


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