The 2024 Mindful Awards Program, an independent recognition platform highlighting conscious companies and products that mindfully make waves in the ever-expanding world of consumer-packaged goods, is announcing that Lorenza Pasetti, CEO of Volpi Foods, the St. Louis-based, fourth-generation family-owned and -operated producer of specialty cured meats since 1902, has been selected as “Mindful CEO of the Year.”

Founded by Italian immigrant Giovanni Volpi, Volpi Foods has evolved from a small specialty meat store to a national brand with a focus on food culture — connecting farmer, grower and crafter in order to provide high-quality food. Volpi’s work toward a more sustainable and innovative future is spearheaded by CEO Lorenza Pasetti, Volpi’s great-niece.

The company’s Raised Responsibly program is a culmination of working with family farmers, harvesters, meat scientists and academics to assure a holistic approach is led with welfare and rooted in science. These standards ensure animal welfare that allows for natural, free movement, no gestation crates and no added hormones. Volpi only sources from nearby farms that employ these environmentally friendly practices, and works with suppliers to enact additional restrictions that yield a better environment for the animals.

Under Pasetti, Volpi has also converted their entire presliced line to Eco-Pack, which is 80% less plastic than a standard deli pack, and through food upcycling. By chopping the ends of their pepperoni and chorizo, Volpi has been able to reduce food waste and create a new product: Pepperoni & Chorizo Crumbles. Volpi also donates ends of products to local food pantries.

Pasetti attended the University of Michigan and obtained a Master of Business Administration at Washington University’s Olin Business School. She grew up in the business, hand-wrapping salami and waiting on customers. She has grown Volpi from a handful of employees to over 200 employees and 150 SKUs.

“What an amazing honor to receive this Mindful Award; However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the hard work my family put in before me and the work they continue to deliver. I like to say after 122 years, we’re an overnight success ... That success comes from our heritage of taking the time it takes to do things the right way and never compromising,” said Pasetti. “My goal with Volpi is to create a better future for generations to come. We remain committed to making sure that we’re as sustainable as we can make ourselves, and let our consumers know that we care about their future.”

The mission of the Mindful Awards program is to honor conscious CPG companies and products that offer transparency to consumers, pay workers fair wages, ensure sustainable business practices, use recycled or recyclable materials and create healthier products using natural or organic ingredients. This year’s program attracted thousands of nominations from companies all over the world. All nominations are evaluated by an independent panel of experts within the consumer-packaged goods industry.

“Volpi is leading the industry with their mindful efforts under the leadership of a CEO who believes in creating a more sustainable future for generations. Sustainable packaging as well as sourcing from local farms translates to environment-friendly practices, better lives for animals, and better quality products,” said Travis Grant, managing director, Mindful Awards. “Congratulations to Lorenza Pasetti, our ‘Mindful CEO of the Year’ as she and her family deliver on their promise of better quality foods from better sourced ingredients, crafted by best-in-class artisans, every time. With one foot firmly planted in Italian tradition, and the other on the accelerator for expansion, Volpi can look forward to another 122 years.”

Source: Mindful Awards