Every year during the Christmas season, this Shining Light Company changes the Little Miss Sunbeam brand mascot on its packaging to a posture of prayer accompanied by the scripture “Not By Bread Alone.” You might have also seen this displayed on billboards throughout the South. Headquartered in Thomasville, GA, Flowers Foods (Ticker FLO) is the largest of ten commercial bakers licensed to produce and distribute Sunbeam Bread. The first bakery was opened in 1919 by the Flowers family. They now operate over 40 highly efficient bakeries and are one of the largest producers of packaged bakery foods in the US. During its nearly 100 years in business, they have developed a business strategy called The Flowers Way. The Flowers Way is about fostering team spirit, appreciating diversity, and making advancement opportunities available to team members. The company’s guiding principles are integrity, service, quality, and commitment. According to former CEO George Deese, “The Flowers Way” is always about trying to do the right thing. It’s about going beyond the call of duty, beyond what’s expected, and asking, “How can I help?”
Since 2002, The Flowers Spirit Award has recognized employees who have demonstrated integrity, dedication, and a job well done. The recipient, chosen by co-workers, is someone who cares for others at work and in their community. The company then makes a charitable donation in honor of the recipient. An “open door” policy is the norm at all locations. Communication is achieved through daily news channels, an intranet site, regular meetings, opinion surveys and a toll-free hotline. Compass is an internal program set up to encourage the continuation of the company’s unique culture among current and rising leaders. Through these practices, Flowers Foods shows they understand that taking care of their employees is an essential component to their success.
Flowers Foods recognizes that success also lies in maintaining a healthy environment. Sustainability principles are shared with business partners, suppliers, team members, and customers in an effort to prevent waste. In 2008, employee member “Green Teams” were created to help with ideas for improving sustainability in all areas of the business. Members are volunteers from all experience levels and are people who have an interest in the environment. Flowers Foods’ commitment to sustainability makes them a stronger corporate citizen and ensures they are doing what is right for the environment and their stakeholders. For information regarding Flowers Foods’ sustainability initiatives, click here.
Another way the company demonstrates its desire to be a good corporate citizen is through support of local communities. Employees are empowered to volunteer their time and talents to the charities of their choice, while the company itself focuses on those that benefit children and families. Some of the charities included in their “Giving Back” efforts are Feeding America, donating just under $4 million in bakery foods to local food banks; Children’s Harbor, a non-profit group that serves seriously ill children and their families; a walking/running/cycling fundraising event for Best Buddies International, an organization that seeks to create opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and the Holiday Hope Campaign, to give the needy in their community a brighter Christmas. The Sons and Daughters Scholarship Program, started in 1996, is for the children of employees and awards scholarships to help finance higher education. Click here to learn more about Flowers Foods’ corporate giving.
Flowers Foods is committed to their strategic vision and goals to grow sales, invest wisely, deliver extraordinary service, bake smart and appreciate their team. Their execution of this vision while demonstrating moral integrity and exceptional core values are what makes Flowers Foods a Shining Light Company!
DISCLOSURE: Shining Light Companies are exemplary companies who live out the Golden Rule in their business practices, demonstrate strong servant leadership and create compelling value through the products and services they offer. This is intended for general information purposes concerning only the values, corporate culture and business practices of the companies being spotlighted. It DOES NOT incorporate any analysis of the companies’ investment merit based on intrinsic value, fundamental analysis, etc. This must not be construed as investment advice or a buy/sell recommendation. These companies may or may not be included in our LightPoint Portfolios at any given time.