General Mills believes that our engagement in the public policymaking process advances our mission of Nourishing Lives.
We improve our communities and help public policymakers through:
- Education about our business and community impact
- Effective best-practice sharing
Advocacy and lobbying
General Mills has a long history of engagement in public policy. We joined with U.S. President Eisenhower to help launch the President’s Fitness Challenge in the 1950’s. We responded to a request by the U.S. federal government to help ensure food safety for astronauts, and developed processes that are now the gold standard in the industry.
We engage on issues that directly impact our company, including product and business regulations, as well as efforts to help nourish our communities, including education reform. Decisions on public policy are made by professional staff reporting to the Senior Vice President, External Relations, with direct oversight by the Public Responsibility Committee of the board (see below).
We comply with all lobbying regulations where applicable. General Mills is a registered as a lobbying entity in three jurisdictions: at the U.S. federal level (and here), and in the states of Minnesota and California. We file regular reports on our lobbying activity in each jurisdiction, which are available at the links provided here.
Trade associations and independent groups
General Mills advances its mission by partnering with others that share our goals. Trade associations and other independent groups help advance these goals, and provide many other benefits including professional development, best-practice sharing, and business support services. For these reasons, we belong to many associations worldwide, and are active members of the associations to which we belong.
Some of the major trade associations to which we belong, primarily for purposes of public policy advancement, include international organizations like Food and Consumer Products of Canada and the Food and Drink Federation of the United Kingdom, organizations focused on U.S. public policy like the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Business Roundtable, as well as state/provincial and local chambers of commerce and manufacturing organizations, like the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Business Partnership. We report additional detail about our largest U.S. trade association memberships annually, available here.
We are not members of, nor make any payments to, any tax-exempt organization in the U.S. that writes and endorses model legislation.
Employees are required to follow all applicable laws and regulations when engaging in political activity. Such activities should occur during nonwork hours and not use company property.
Campaign finance and political action committees
As a corporate citizen, we occasionally support the legislative process by contributing prudently to state and local candidates and political organizations when such contributions are permitted by federal, state and local law.
We recognize the importance of accountability and transparency for our political contributions. Our policy describes our procedures for using corporate funds for political contributions. The Public Responsibility Committee of our board of directors reviews our policy, and we disclose on our website a list of our political contributions made during the last calendar year, and provide an archive of past years.
In 1976, our employees established the General Mills Political Action Committee (G-PAC), which is run by employees and uses employee funds to make political contributions to federal and in limited cases state political candidates. We pay the costs of administering the G-PAC, but we do not make contributions on behalf of the company through the G-PAC.
All transactions by the General Mills Political Action Committee are completely transparent and available on the Federal Election Commission Web site.
The Public Responsibility Committee of our Board of Directors made up of entirely outside directors that provides oversight over the company’s political activity including:
- Review of company policy on political expenditures
- Review of corporate political contributions
- Review of major trade association memberships
- Approval of independent political expenditures (although company has not made any)