Employee Spotlight – Emma Gladstone
Living in the Cayman Islands, Emma Gladstone found an unlikely path to success within McCormick Global Ingredients Limited (MGIL). MGIL leads McCormick’s sourcing and sustainability efforts for herbs and spices, ensuring the utmost quality of raw ingredients and working with stakeholders throughout the supply chain to ensure materials are competitively yet responsibly sourced.
Emma, originally from Northern Ireland, initially moved to Grand Cayman as a T.V. producer and freelance videographer. When a position opened within the Quality Department of MGIL, she saw an opportunity to move into a new field at a company with an impressive record in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). As she continued in her work with the Quality Team, and learned more about the products and their origins, she became more interested in sustainable sourcing and corporate responsibility. With that interest, she decided to pursue the Harvard Extension School’s program in Corporate Sustainability and Innovation. Upon completion of the certificate program, she began a new role with McCormick as the Associate Sustainability Manager with MGIL.
This position was new to both Emma and McCormick as it was born out of McCormick’s commitment to its Purpose-led Performance strategy and goals for 2025. Emma and her colleague, Gabriel Sarasin, currently lead the effort to sustainably source 100% of our five branded iconic herbs and spices - vanilla, black pepper, red pepper, cinnamon and oregano – by 2025. Working closely with the procurement team, their focus is currently on attaining Rainforest Alliance standards and certification at origin.
Emma also leads the efforts to increase farmer resilience and it is this aspect of her position that she finds most compelling, especially when she sees the direct impact McCormick’s commitment has on the communities from which we source. MGIL have partnered with CARE International, a global non-governmental organization (NGO), to advise and assist initiatives focused on social issues and responsibility. Last year, Emma had the opportunity to visit Madagascar where CARE had been working to help communities rebuild after a devastating cyclone struck in March 2017. Through contributions from McCormick and other organizations, these villages had been rebuilt and the communities provided with training and resources to limit the impact of future natural disasters. This included techniques for processing and storing food that could sustain families should their crops be wiped out by future cyclones.
Building on these initial efforts, Emma‘s current focus with CARE is to map women’s contributions within the supply chain and conduct a needs analysis for the communities that grow our top five iconic ingredients. These findings will inform future initiatives, helping McCormick to designate efforts to further support women and farmer resilience.
This month, Emma will travel to India to see the progress of a clean drinking water initiative and renovation of a preschool in the regions where McCormick sources red pepper. It’s these trips, where she can see the impact of her team’s work and the collective effort of the company, which inspire her. In her words, McCormick is “all in” when it comes to sustainability. The comprehensive approach the company has taken – working from the grassroots level with suppliers, buyers and partners truly shows the reach of not only Emma’s role, but the influence of the company at large.