IFMA's Presidents Conference to Feature Paul Polman

The world-renowned business visionary will address the conference via exclusive video interview.



CHICAGO, October 6, 2023 — The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) is proud to announce that Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever and recognized cross-industry climate, social change, and equalities campaigner, will speak to this year’s Presidents Conference attendees.


As CEO of Unilever (2009-2019), Polman demonstrated that business can profit through purpose, marrying a long-term, multi-stakeholder model with excellent financial performance. During Paul’s tenure, shareholders saw their returns increase by 290% while the company consistently ranked first in the world for sustainability and as one of best places to work.



Polman believes, above all, that humanity will only overcome our greatest shared challenges through far-reaching systems change and bold new partnerships that deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which he helped develop.


The IFMA Presidents Conference brings executives from the food-away-from-home industry together each year to address industry-wide concerns and share innovative breakthroughs on issues like food waste and maintaining a positive labor force. Polman will be addressing the global needs for responsible food management and ethical, responsible business practices with this year’s conference attendees.


Polman has stated, “When business leaders swap timidity for ambition and collaborate with others – their peers, their critics, governments and civil society – we can fix broken systems and help find solutions to humanity’s biggest problems.”


The food-away-from-home industry is no stranger to integrating socially responsible efforts into business models across all segments of foodservice. "For some, it began simply as a desire to meet growing consumer demand for business transparency,” said IFMA CEO Phil Kafarakis, “Now, it is a business imperative. We are elated to welcome Paul Polman, a global leader in corporate responsibility as it pertains to equality, climate change and sustainability, to IFMA’s Presidents Conference. We hope to continue collaborating with him and his organization in the future as we help lead our industry to greater awareness and engagement in addressing these global concerns.”


Due to scheduling restrictions, Kafarakis will interview Polman a few days before the Presidents Conference. The video of this exclusive interview will be shared in a general session at the conference on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.


IFMA’s Presidents Conference is open to IFMA members and foodservice operators. Join us in Scottsdale!