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Speaker Interview: Sara Burnett

Get to know the thought leaders sharing their insights at the Future Food Systems event (25-26 January, Online | 2 March, London) in our dedicated speaker interview series.


Independent Forums: What is your favorite food?

Sara Burnett: Pad Thai with Tofu

Independent Forums: Who or what has inspired you this year and why?

Sara Burnett: My children have inspired me. My 12-year-old incorporated climate action into her school speech this year and it was a great reminder of why our work is so critical.

Independent Forums: What is your biggest source of motivation?

Sara Burnett: My biggest source of motivation is complex challenges that require team problem-solving. It is deeply satisfying to build a team around a strong and important mission.

Independent Forums: How would you describe a typical day?

Sara Burnett: I would describe my day as a journey between advocacy, education and problem-solving. I work across the business on food beliefs, sustainability, philanthropy, and public relations so I often wear multiple hats each day.

Independent Forums: What’s one thing about you that most people don’t know?

Sara Burnett: I am a secret introvert and get energized by time alone especially in nature.

Independent Forums: What’s one thing about your organization that you wish more people knew?

Sara Burnett: I hope more people know that while Panera is a large scale restaurant, we continue to operate like many small businesses with a relentless focus on our associates and our mission.

Independent Forums: Where do you see the biggest opportunity for transformation within the food system?

Sara Burnett: I believe transformation of the food system begins with guests and their consumption behaviors. Each day they vote with their dollars and those dollars fund all the good and bad that happens in the food system. Redistribution of those dollars will make or break change in the food system long term.

Independent Forums: What are you most looking forward to at Future Food Systems 2022?

Sara Burnett: I am very excited to hear from the leaders around supply chain resilience. Given the unique challenges our industry is facing currently combined with the increased risk of supply chain instability related to climate, it is so critical for us all to understand and build resilient supply chains.


Sara will be speaking in the 'Influencing Consumer Behavior Change' session on 26 January 2022.

Register here to join the conversation.


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