Sustainable Food Trade Association
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This series of case studies demonstrate practical examples of how SFTA Members execute on the SFTA declaration areas. By highlighting the work of companies with strong systems in place, we encourage wider adoption of sustainability practices and encourage transitioning companies towards sustainable business models.


How animals are treated in the supply chain is not always included as an aspect of a sustainability program. SFTA companies, however, continue to incorporate rigorous animal standards and purchasing policies in their companies. 83% of companies who sell animal products have developed strict animal welfare production or purchasing guidelines! Some members go beyond purchasing guidelines and take an active role in restoring wildlife habitat and populations.

MOMs logoAnimal care policies and support programs have proven MOM’s Organic Markets to be an impressive animal care advocate. 100% of the seafood it sells falls into “Best Choices” category from Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, and 100% of the poultry products offered comes from poultry that enjoy a free range lifestyle and are antibiotic-free. In addition, 100% of its dairy products are rBGH free. However, this Rockville, Maryland based retailer wanted to do more for ORPlocal wildlife health. Through an innovative partnership with the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP), it is helping to restore oyster populations and clean the water in the Chesapeake Bay. By nature, oysters filter water, and the ORP has planted over 5 billion oysters to-date. MOM’s adds to this success by returning used oyster shells to the ORP. These shells are then used as “homes” for baby oysters, improving their chances of survival to adulthood. The final tally of “repurposed” oyster shells? Over 1,400 tons!

Climate change is a complicated concern, and SFTA members tackle it through a variety of measures. To begin, 91% measure their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, empowering companies to identify and improve upon problem areas that impact GHG emissions. 100% of distributors take measures to reduce fuel use through distribution route optimization. Additionally, 73% of companies offer commuting or alternative transportation incentive programs to its employees. Many other environmental projects are taken on by SFTA members to combat climate change in building design and distribution. For example:

UNFI logoProvidence, Rhode Island based United Natural Foods, Inc., the leading U.S. independent distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods, unsurprisingly has a sharp eye cast towards its air emissions and climate impacts. It reduces its energy use footprint through use of renewable energies, has five LEED-certified distribution centers across the country, and in particular has been reducing fleet emissions through a multi-pronged approach. Trucks are outfitted with Eco-Flaps which reduce drag and road spray. Routes are optimized through the use of Roadnet software; a powerful tool when paired with PeopleNet software. PeopleNet is an on-board vehicle technology that helps drivers utilize efficient driving practices. Idle times, shifting techniques, and optimized speeds are all communicated to drivers to improve fuel use. UNFI also increased its use of rail versus ground transport.

All of these practices have yielded some impressive results to date. With its increase in rail transport, UNFI has averted the emission of 21,090 metric tons of CO2-equivalent (m.t. CO2e). Increases in fuel efficiency resulted in the avoidance of 693 m.t. CO2e. Furthermore, optimization of routing resulted in the avoidance of 486 m.t. CO2e!

Efforts to make distribution and transportation of products as efficient as possible — and reduce greenhouse gas emissions — are well-complimented by local sourcing programs in SFTA companies. Its members have distribution optimization or local sourcing programs in place to make efficient use of fuel and encourage local growth. Let’s take a look at the Outpost Natural Foods Cooperative to get a closer look at a local sourcing program, and see a growing trend: adding “local cultivators” to increase local purchases!

outpost-logoIn Milwaukee, Wisconsin, SFTA member Outpost Natural Foods proves its dedication to local and sustainable sourcing through a robust program. To ensure that all products purchased are as sustainable as possible, a “Product Evaluation Tool” is used to evaluate all potential new products. This matrix takes into account a product’s carbon footprint, the perceived ethics of the supplier, and packaging sustainability (i.e. is it BPA free, local_favcompostable, or recyclable), and gives preference to local or regional products. Locally or regionally produced foods are designated as “local regional favorites” on shelves in order to promote local sales and reduce environmental impacts from distribution footprints. Two positions were also created to have a special focus on increasing local sales, including the Produce Category Manager and a Local Purchasing Specialist! The latter’s goals are specifically to increase the number of local vendors and products the co-op carries.

In order for sustainability to thrive, consumers need to be educated about what sustainability means, and employees must be empowered with the information needed to champion sustainability in and out of work. SFTA members understand this need, and in addition to consumer-facing education programs, 82% offer sustainability classes to their employees! However, most don’t just offer one way of engaging and educating employees and consumers on sustainability.

OV Gen-O BusYou’d be hard pressed to find a more comprehensive sustainability education program than that at Organic Valley in La Farge, Wisconsin. External efforts include consumer campaigns that are magnified through partnerships with companies like FrogTV, creation and use of their own YouTube channel, and public education initiatives like the Earth Dinner. Generation Organic was formed in 2010, and is a group of young (18-35 years old) farmers who visit college classrooms across the country and local school classrooms to educate students about organic farming.

OV_Logo_RGB_2013Internally, in addition to regularly offered sustainability classes, Organic Valley has created the innovative Employee Growth Incentive Program. It encourages employees to learn about sustainability through media and volunteer activities; employees receive a bonus at year’s end based on how much they learned. In 2014, employees spent an average of 19 hours on training which included sustainability-related classes and volunteer activities.

Lastly, the On-Farm Sustainability Program was created to help Organic Valley farmers utilize renewable energy sources which helps farmers learn about and optimize renewable energy and waste reduction efforts on their farms. These efforts have led to installations of solar power and wind turbines, recycling of agricultural plastic, and biomass digesters. To-date, there are 24 on-farm renewable energy projects installed for a totaling nearly 1 million kWh of energy production annually. In 2014, 35.5 tons of plastic mulch was collected from produce farms which was recycled into trash bags.

SFTA members continue to increase their use energy efficiency measures and use of renewable energy sources to decrease their impact on the environment. An impressive 45% of members generate a portion of their own electricity on-site (solar, methane digesters, etc.), and a whopping 80% of companies’ electricity use is derived from renewable resources! This last figure represents a 23% increase in the total renewable electricity use reported in 2014! SFTA member So Delicious® Dairy Free has shown the positive impact that cross-functional energy projects can have on the environment and the bottom line.

SoDelicious-CascadeIn its Springfield, Oregon manufacturing facility, So Delicious® Dairy Free partnered with Cascade Energy and its local utility to participate in the Track & Tune program – an efficiency program designed for medium to large industrial energy users. After months of recording baseline data, changes were made to increase the frozen dessert plant’s energy efficiency, including upgrades to refrigeration equipment plus several low cost/no cost improvements, resulting in an efficiency “tune-up” equal to a 5% reduction of overall energy use for 2013. In 2014 the frozen dessert plant really started reaping the benefits of the program, improving its energy efficiency to 3.97 pounds per kilowatt hour from 3.60 pounds per kilowatt hour, a 10% year-over-year energy efficiency increase.

Dedication to improving quality of life and communities is demonstrated in many ways by SFTA members. 100% of retailers have a dedication to increasing their sales of local products. These efforts help to positively enhance the relationships between business and society, and increases the economic viability of its community. In addition, this year members particularly “put their money where their mouths are”: they donated over $15.8 million, representing 129% increase in reported charitable donations!

Community Food Coop logoThe Community Food Co-op in Bellingham, WA gives back to its community through multiple community and school education classes and charitable donations. However, the co-op has also set up community partnerships in a way that will perpetuate livelihoods and economic success of the local economy.

Finca Esperanza-FarmFundThe Community Food Co-op’s Farm Fund initiates and funds programs designed to support the growth of local, sustainable agriculture. The Farm Fund provides grants and low-interest loans to farmers and food and farming programs. Some of these farmers work with groups making their own significant social investment efforts. Community to Community Development’s Finca Esperanza (Community Hope Garden) trains, serves, and is run by farm workers. Growing Veterans combines veteran reintegration with sustainable agriculture. The fund also works to increase access to local food and to encourage ecological and socially responsible farmland stewardship.

The Community Food Co-op also partners with 39 local businesses in the co-op’s Local Business Partner Program; this program supports buying local and the local business community. Local business owners can sign up to offer a special discount only for member-owners of the co-op.

SFTA members continue to offer outstanding employee benefits, as well as additional employee engagement programs to empower employees in their work and reinforce their value to the company. 100% of reporting SFTA members offer health care, and cover an average of 94% of medical costs to their full time employees!

Annie's-Corporate-LogoGoing above-and-beyond normal employee programs is nothing new for Annie’s, Inc. This Berkeley, California company offers a full “standard” benefits package, along with some of the best employee perks around: an edible garden, flexible work hours, commuter benefits, ergonomics assessments, twice-monthly massage services, and an on-site gym with yoga and circuit training classes. It doesn’t stop there; the company ensures that critical supply chain partners are aligned with its sustainability values. For its manufacturing partners, Annie’s has a Supplier Code of Annies Bike to WorkConduct that suppliers agree to adhere to. Annie’s takes this one step further by having third-party audits conducted at select locations. Within the farming supply chain, Annie’s supports an apprenticeship program run by one of its wheat farmers to ensure they can grow the next generation of organic farmers. Annie’s purchases sugarcane from a supplier in Brazil who invests in its people, as demonstrated by its EcoSocial certification from IBD. Finally, in 2014 Annie’s transitioned 66% of its cocoa ingredients to be responsibly sourced, 3rd-party certified!

The purchase of organic products and member commitment to providing organic food options continues to grow. 77% of SFTA reporting members’ sales are from organic products, and 2014 reports indicate they purchased over 1.9 billion pounds of organic products! This represents a 25% increase over 2014 figures, and exceeds the overall 11% growth1 in the organic industry. We increasingly see members that are dedicated to identifying, reducing, and eliminating GMO options in their product offerings. Straus Family Creamery and the Ashland (Oregon) Food Cooperative both have inspiring stories around these efforts.

StrausOrganic_Logo_COLORStraus Family Creamery, the first 100% certified organic creamery in the US, continues to help generate and respond to growing consumer demand for organic dairy products. The Petaluma, California-based company has added two additional dairies to its group of family farm milk producers, bringing the total up to eight local, organic, family farms comprising 5,081 organic acres Straus Cow1 Roundin California’s Marin and Sonoma counties. This growth has supported a 27% increase in the amount of organic milk processed at the creamery in 2013. An innovative water saving system reuses all of the water from the creamery at the nearby Straus dairy, where it irrigates pastures, flushes the barns, and helps with generation of renewable energy through a methane digester.

AshlandFoodCoopLogoBased on consumer demand, its mission to offer organic products, and long-term sustainability goals, the Ashland Food Co-op in Ashland, OR performed a GMO audit in its store; this considerable effort resulted in 100 products being removed from its shelves! Furthermore, product standards have been developed that do not allow GMO ingredients in any new products in the store.

Sustainable packaging is one of the most challenging areas for food companies to address, and members meet this challenge through a variety of packaging policies. 91% of members have formal policies on using packaging and marketing materials that are Forest Stewardship Council certified, contain recycled content, or are fully reusable by the customer or supply chain partner.

Earls OrganicsEarl’s Organic Produce in San Francisco, CA has taken several steps to reduce the amount of packaging waste in its produce distribution. It has set a goal to operate a single-use-packaging-free-facility by the year 2020. Understanding that industry practice and food safety requirements have institutionalized the emphasis on single use packaging like plastic wrap and cardboard and wax boxes, Earl’s is taking an incremental, step-by-step approach to implementing small operational changes to tackle the broader issue.

Paraffin wax boxes are a notorious challenge in the produce industry. The petroleum-based paraffin-coated boxes contaminate finished compost, and because they are not recyclable, they most often end up in the landfill. Until recently, wax boxes have been a necessary evil due to their ability to withstand the cold wet environments required for produce storage. This year, Earl’s discontinued its use of waxed cardboard boxes and replaced them with 100% recyclable wet-guard-medium cardboard boxes that stand up under the cold wet environment of vegetable coolers. This will eliminate about 34,000 pounds of wax cardboard waste from being sent to the landfill each year.

In the next year, Earl’s has the goal of beginning a dialogue with some of their vendors and strategic customers to explore opportunities for implementing RPC (reusable plastic container) pilot programs.

Waste reduction and landfill diversion efforts continue to gain momentum and grow in their levels of sophistication. 72% of members’ waste was completely diverted from the landfill through recycling, composting, repurposing, or other methods. 55% of members had a diversion rate of 70% or higher! These efforts added up to diverting more than 21,000 tons of waste from the landfill, including 4,225 tons of compost and 7,536 tons of recycling materials.

Pacific Foods LogoPacific Foods has developed an impressive infrastructure for dealing with high volume waste streams at its manufacturing headquarters in Tualatin, Oregon. In addition to its comprehensive organic waste composting program, Pacific Foods has also dedicated part of its infrastructure for processing large quantities of recyclable and reusable materials for sale in the recycled materials market. Its facility can handle bailing large quantities of cardboard, plastic, and other materials for resale to various materials customers. Thanks to Pacific Forkliftits robust program, Pacific Foods avoids over $130,000 in annual landfill tipping fees. Coupled with the revenue generated from reselling recyclable and reusable materials, Pacific Foods is able to employ five full time employees in its recycling department. One of its major innovative improvements came when the company worked with a local equipment fabricator to create a machine dedicated to de-watering post-industrial waste cartons! Thanks to the custom machine – appropriately named the “Packcrusher” – waste cartons can be recycled quickly and efficiently. Through each of these efforts, Pacific Foods has managed to increase its recovery rate from 40% in 2007 to over 80% in the first quarter of 2015!

Increasing demands on freshwater supplies continues to bring responsible water use into the spotlight. 100% of reporting members have a variety of water conservation practices in place, from recycled use of waste waters to “mechanical” fixes like low-flow toilets. Some companies not only look at the impact their water use has on their facility, but their entire eco-system.

PCCDual-flush toilets are only the beginning of responsible water use for Seattle, Washington based PCC Natural Markets. Its Edmonds, WA location has two rain gardens in the customer parking lot that naturally cleans runoff through layers of filtering soil amendments, and a rooftop rain harvesting system. The latter provides more than 160,000 gallons of water annually that satisfies one-fourth of the store’s landscaping and toilet flushing needs. With new efficiency toilets in use, those 160,000 gallons can add up to 100,000 flushes! The Edmonds PCC’s demonstration of how easy and effective rain gardens can be in a commercial setting prompted its new neighbor, Walgreens, to install two rain gardens. The store also hosts classes taught by the local conservative district that teaches residents how to install rain gardens at home.



GB_Logo_Oval_Color_LrzSFTA members care about how their animals are treated! 60 percent of reporting members require ethical animal treatment practices from themselves or their suppliers, and 60 percent of retailers have policies and purchasing practices that prohibit the purchase of dairy or meat/poultry products treated with growth hormones or antibiotics. One SFTA member whose animal care practices stand out is GloryBee.

Although primarily a distributor of honey, sweeteners, spices, dried fruits, nuts, and oils, GloryBee takes steps to ensure their product suppliers are responsible animal stewards, in particular for their honey products. Stringent in-house testing ensures there is no use of prohibited antibiotics in their honey and hive (i.e. propolis) products. Many of their cosmetic, personal care, and household products are verified free of animal testing through the Coalition for Consumer Information’s “Leaping Bunny” program.

GloryBee also donates one percent of retail sales revenue to their “Save the Bee” campaign. As a result, in 2012 GloryBee’s first donation of $10,000 was to Oregon State University’s Honeybee Research Lab which established the foundation for a long-term partnership.

Members are resolved to help decrease their impact on our environment through the reduction of carbon emissions. 100 percent of reporting members track and manage their carbon footprint through a variety of methods. For 27 percent of these members, efforts are driven by their goal of being carbon-neutral businesses. SFTA member SunOpta has seen great climate change results with recent sustainability efforts.SunOpta

Even though SunOpta sales grew by 37 percent from 2008 to 2012, its carbon emissions actually declined by over 8 percent in the same amount of time. To help achieve this goal, the Brampton, Ontario based company performed three major energy saving projects in 2012 that saved over three-quarters of a million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity that year.

The first project reclaimed waste heat to increase the temperature of incoming process water. The second project involved upgrading the insulation for a large ice bank unit, saving over 125,000 kWh per year. The third project consisted of relocating a chiller and cooler closer to the food processing area in the facility – eliminating 1,000 feet of process piping – and adding insulation on remaining piping to realize over 540,000 kWh of electricity savings. In addition, SunOpta continued their partnership with C.H. Robinson, a third party logistics provider and Trees Ontario to plant trees to offset shipment impacts. As a result, over 11,000 trees have been planted on SunOpta’s behalf since 2010. Combined, these projects have accomplished the equivalent of taking 2,636 homes off of the electrical grid.

Efforts to improve local sourcing and reduce carbon footprints go hand in hand for SFTA members. 95 percent of SFTA members actively manage the sustainability of their sourcing and distribution through fuel efficiency or local sourcing programs. 100 percent of retailers have local sourcing programs, and 27 percent of total reported retailer sales were dedicated to local sources. 12 percent of one distributor’s total sales were delivered on bicycle! Let’s take a look at that distributor, Hummingbird Wholesale.

Hummingbird-BikeHummingbird Wholesale, a Eugene, OR-based organic wholesale company, weaves two SFTA commitment areas – climate change and local initiatives – together in its distribution and sourcing program. Over 12 percent of its total product sales – or 250,000 pounds – was delivered by two custom cargo tri-cycles that can deliver up to 1,000 pounds of organic products at a time! In addition, Hummingbird has a dedicated farm liaison staffer who identifies and builds relationships with local (within 100 miles) and regional (Pacific Northwest) producers. These relationships resulted in a 43 percent growth in the number of acres Hummingbird contracts locally, and a 40 percent increase in the pounds purchased of local and regional products!

There is a tremendous dedication to educate employees as well as communities on sustainability. 100 percent of members have policies or initiatives to regularly update internal and external stakeholders on sustainability initiatives and developments. MOM’s Organic Markets makes their education efforts accessible to all by blending information and fun into their activities for employees and customers.

MOM'sMOM’s Organic Market has found a great way to balance climate change, community engagement, and sustainability education initiatives. Twice a year, MOM’s holds “We Love Inflation” events: parking lots are staffed with employees who check customers’ tire pressure. If pressure is low, tires are inflated on-site for a fuel efficiency boost of up to 10 percent. Additionally, MOM’s started a program, “Terrapass Your Gas” to offset customer’s shopping trips to and from its stores in order to raise awareness about the importance of collectively reducing our carbon footprint. In 2013, MOM’s offset over 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions through Terrapass. MOM’s employs multiple other methods to educate consumers, including in-store campaigns, newsletters and web pages, and through participation in environmental community events. MOM’s thorough approach to sustainability education also focuses on employees. Peer-to-peer book review sessions, environmental film viewings, and field trips to organic farms, sustainable vendors, as well as recycling and renewable energy facilities, are all part of the extensive sustainability education MOM’s offers employees.

Efficiency in building design, energy conservation, and the use of renewable energy resources are driving energy savings. 65 percent of the electric energy used by SFTA members is derived from renewable sources. 100 percent of members have achieved energy savings through equipment efficiency upgrades. One SFTA member uses a combination of low-tech and high-tech upgrades to show its commitment to responsible energy use.

WedgeThe Wedge Co-Op in Minneapolis, MN uses several methods to decrease energy use and increase renewable energy commitments across all of its dynamic business divisions: grocery retail, distribution warehouse, and farm. In the grocery retail, LED-lit refrigerator cases and air curtains at their store’s primary receiving bay help maintain target store temperature and are both energy-saving tactics. In addition, a roof-mounted solar panel water heating system is used to pre-heat water and cut down on energy needed to heat water to needed temperatures. Energy-efficient lighting retrofits have contributed to a two percent decrease in energy consumed by the store in the last year. These gains were augmented by an increase, from 20 to 22 percent, in the store’s renewable energy sources as its electric utility boosted renewables production. In 2014, The Wedge will make an even bigger leap in renewable energy: it will begin benefiting from the installation of 148 Solarworld 270-watt solar panels that will provide over 50,000 kWh of power at the co-op’s farm, Gardens of Eagan.

PCCOrganic companies recognize the importance of community and giving. SFTA members increased total community donations in 2013 by a whopping 57 percent. This translates into millions of dollars dedicated to communities. PCC Markets is no stranger to these types of comprehensive community engagement projects.

When it comes to making a difference in its community, Seattle, WA-based PCC Natural Markets is an expert. PCC reported that its ongoing rechargeable Scrip fundraising program earned more than $235,000 for 212 community non-profits in the last year. Additionally, the 25-year old PCC Food Bank Program, which uses cash donations from shoppers to buy bulk food at wholesale prices – repackaged by volunteers at bi-monthly work parties – provided more than 36 tons of food for its program partners.

Labor practices continue to be a quality hallmark for organic companies. 100 percent of reporting members offer health care, and cover an impressive 94 percent of health care costs! 84 percent of employers offer 401K plans, and 55 percent offer profit sharing. But some SFTA members don’t stop there…TraditionalMedicinals

Sebastapol, CA-based Traditional Medicinals is committed to using age-old plant wisdom to improve the health and wellness of both its consumers and staff. That concern for wellness shows in both its supply chain and employee practices. In 2012, 97 percent of their raw botanical tea ingredients were certified organic. This helped them achieve an amazing feat: in 2012, 94 percent of total consumer products have organic certification, versus only 19 percent in 2002! Additionally, the company achieved non-GMO verification of 100 percent of their products.

Beyond that clear commitment to health and sustainability, Traditional Medicinals not only offers an excellent typical benefits package (including 100 percent coverage of full-time employee health insurance and a 401K plan), but has also transitioned to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Its supply chain rests on decades-old direct partnerships with herb and product suppliers; in developing countries, many of those partnerships have been certified to both eco and social standards including FairWild and Fair Trade.

SFTA members are making an incredible statement on their commitment to organic. In fact, 87 percent of the total product by weight managed by reporting SFTA manufacturers and distributors is certified organic. This means that they bought more than 1.5 BILLION pounds of organic food! A major contributor to that figure is a growing organic company, Annie’s, Inc.

Annie's 3-organic-commit-infographic 0414Frequently touted as an “organic pioneer,” now publicly-traded Annie’s, Inc. remains true to its roots. The commitment to organic continues to grow: purchase of organic ingredients increased 18 percent in FY2013 over the previous year, and the sales of “organic” and “made with organic” products increased from 85 to 86 percent. 70 of Annie’s product SKUs are non-GMO verified. Annie’s is also involved in federal and state-level GMO labeling policy initiatives and is a founding member of the Just Label It campaign. In addition, its employees serve on boards of several prominent organic associations, including the Organic Trade Association, The Organic Center, and the Sustainable Food Trade Association!

Reducing the use of the earth resources in packaging and marketing materials is a major focus for SFTA members. 100 percent of members have active goals and efforts in place to reduce packaging’s impact on the environment. As a result, manufacturers and distributors eliminated over 175,000 pounds of packaging materials in 2012, and grocery retailers saved the use of over 3.3 million bags!

NatureBoxGroup-USA-March13The sustainability game can be won or lost with packaging, and Nature’s Path in Richmond, British Columbia, aims to win. Its comprehensive packaging guidelines require that all purchased cardboard and paperboard is certified to the stringent Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard, printed using vegetable based inks, and made of 100 percent recycled content. In addition, all plastic used in packaging of Nature’s Path products is BPA- and PVC-free. Regardless of its large and growing sales, in 2012 Nature’s Path was able to measure and report that 98 percent of ALL its product packaging, by total weight is recyclable by the consumer.

Reduction of waste is a major focus. Reporting SFTA members diverted an average of 71 percent of their waste from landfills; 40 percent of reporting members had a diversion rate of 80 percent or higher!

PurdueAlways a leader in sustainability, Organic Valley in LaFarge, WI, diverted over 95 percent of its annual waste from landfills. 61 percent of diverted waste went to a local farmer’s biofuel digester, 32 percent was diverted to animal feed, and the remaining 2 percent was recycled. In addition, Organic Valley helps reduce landfill waste in its community by hosting recycling events for its employees and community. Events have included hosting recycling collection points for electronics, tires, clothing, and shoes.

The company also runs an agricultural plastic recycling program in conjunction with Terrecon, which recycles the waste into plastic sidewalk and garden pavers. This program resulted in the initial annual collection of over 56,000 pounds of agricultural plastic.

Seen as an increasingly scarce resource, 100 percent of SFTA members consider water conservation in decision making processes. Efforts made to reduce water footprints are as diverse as SFTA members themselves. Some companies use water restoration certificates; Straus Family Creamery extracts sanitation water from milk using reverse osmosis, then re-uses waste water to clean out their cattle facilities!

Chico Natural Foods Co-op (Chico, CA) shows that small changes can lead to big impacts! After identifying the need for a critical upgrade in their produce case, the co-op purchased a more efficient model. Another small change — reducing the water they use to fill their produce sink for vegetable prepping by 25 percent. The results? A reported 40 percent reduction in their annual water use!


Annie's Corp. Logo_color

Annie’s Inc. – Annie’s, Inc. drives sustainability in its supply chain through engagement


MOM’s Organic Market – MOM’s Organic Market Bans the sale of Bottled Water


Clif Bar – Clif Bar’s Holistic Approach to Climate Action


Tessa Young

Vice President of Communications
Organic Trade Association
Washington, DC

Tessa serves as a creative leader on OTA’s Integrated Marketing and Communications team where she is responsible for implementing a corporate communications strategy to advance OTA’s mission across its various trade audiences. She has an MBA in Organizational and Environmental Sustainability from Antioch University New England and a triple-major undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts. OTA, an umbrella organization uniting more than 7,000 member companies across the entire supply chain, promotes and protects today’s $39 billion organic sector.

Michelle Suess

Sustainability Coordinator
LifeSource Natural Foods
Salem, OR

Michelle Suess has a combined passion for great food and environmental sustainability. She puts her degrees in biology and environmental science to use as sustainability coordinator, recycling coordinator, and health and safety administrator at LifeSource Natural Foods and on the board of Directors for the SFTA. Seven years into a formal sustainability program and five annual sustainability reports later, LifeSource has come a long way toward understanding and accomplishing its sustainability goals and was honored to recently be named the 8th Best Green Business to Work for in Oregon. Michelle is excited to share the work LifeSource is doing with the larger community.

Kelly Hoell

Sustainability Consultant
Good Company
Eugene, OR

Kelly specializes in technical and market research, sustainability and greenhouse gas assessments and sustainability program development. Kelly has worked on over 50 greenhouse gas inventories for international food processors, food distributors, transit agencies, municipal government operations and entire communities. She is an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon teaching environmental assessment and is an MBA candidate at Oregon State University. Good Company helps clients from around the country and the globe to measure, manage and market their sustainability performance.

Shauna Sadowski

Director of Sustainability
Annie’s, Inc.
Berkeley, CA

Shauna Sadowski is responsible for Annie’s sustainability strategy, including sustainability reporting, education, and supply chain impacts, with a particular emphasis on food and farming programs. In prior years, Shauna has been a management consultant and a farm girl; she is a graduate of the Friedman School at Tufts University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Berkeley with her husband, daughters and boisterous Boston Terrier.

Hannah La Luzerne

Sustainability Manager
Wholesum Family Farms
Nogales, AZ

Hannah inspires a spirit of responsibility by coordinating sustainability projects at organic farms in Arizona and Mexico and helping suppliers work toward Fair Trade certification. Working across languages, cultures, and stakeholder groups, her work helps grow a more sustainable Wholesum from the roots up. A native Arizonan, Hannah loves deciphering Spanglish on the border and listening to thunder from the monsoon rains.

Diana Chapman

Director of Sustainability
PCC Natural Markets
Seattle, WA

Diana joined PCC Natural Markets (PCC) in 2002 and has served the co-op in community relations, communications and sustainability roles. Her background includes several years in banking and media focused primarily on marketing and market research. She earned her undergraduate degree in secondary education from the State University of New York at Oneonta and an MBA from the University of Puget Sound. Her best work and happiest work has been the raising of her son and daughter, both of whom held their first jobs at PCC. Diana is a founding member of the SFTA board.

Britt Lundgren

Director of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture
Stonyfield Farm
Londonderry, NH

Prior to 2011, Britt spent five years as an agricultural policy specialist for Environmental Defense Fund in Washington, D.C. She holds a Master of Science in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from Tufts University. Together with Stonyfield co-founder and chair Gary Hirshberg and Dr. Charles Benbrook, she co-authored Label It Now, a book that makes the case for labeling genetically engineered foods. Britt also serves on the board of the New Hampshire Conservation Law Foundation, and as an Advisor to AGree. She has worked on organic farms in Maine, Massachusetts, and Colorado, and is an avid fiddle player.

Jonathan Reinbold

Sustainability, Research & Grant Manager
Organic Valley
La Farge, WI

Jonathan works at the nexus of energy, water and food systems to promote farmland stewardship and improve ecosystem health while contributing to robust local food systems. He leads the Organic Valley sustainability department’s efforts in natural resource conservation, renewable energy production, environmental research and employee engagement. His experience spans sustainability strategy, non‐profit management, food systems policy, renewable energy and green design. Jonathan is active in international sustainability collaborations. He previously served on the board of the land conservation non-profit, Valley Stewardship Network. Jonathan earned his MA in Environment & Community from Antioch University Seattle.

Peter Golbitz

Agromeris LLC
Estero, FL

With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Peter works closely with leading businesses and organizations on market and business development projects at Agromeris, an advisory firm that focuses on the unique needs of the specialty food and agricultural marketplace. Previously, Peter was the Director of International Business Development at SunOpta, a leading U.S. food processor. He was the founder and president of Soyatech, a consulting and publishing company of the annual Soya & Oilseed Bluebook. Currently, he also serves on the board of the World Soy Foundation, and sits on technical committees of the Organic Trade Association.

Natalie Reitman-White

Senior Director of Organizational Vitality and Sustainability
Organically Grown Company
Portland, OR

Since 2005, Natalie has worked with cross-departmental teams to integrate sustainable practices across OGC and lead’s OGCs organic trade advocacy efforts. She has been on the faculty for the Institute for Sustainable Environment at the University of Oregon, was the first Executive Director of the Sustainable Food Trade Association and currently serves on numerous organic advisory boards. In 2013, Natalie shifted her focus to include “organizational vitality”. In her new role she leads of human resources ensuring organizational alignment with OGCs unique “shared-ownership” culture, strategic talent management and organizational development activities.

Hansel New

Manager of Corporate Sustainability
WhiteWave Foods
Louisville, CO

At WhiteWave Foods, a leading organic and natural foods company with such well-known brands as Silk, So Delicious Dairy Free, Earthbound Farms, and Horizon Organic, Hansel’s focus areas include ethical sourcing, packaging innovation, resource conservation, and consumer engagement. He received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health from Oregon State University and an MBA in Sustainable Business with a focus in Food Systems Management from Marylhurst University.

Brionne Saseen

Facilities and Sustainability Manager
Chico Natural Foods Cooperative
Chico, CA

Brionne earned an interdisciplinary degree in Human Rights & Environmental Advocacy from California State University, Chico with minor in Statistics in early 2011. During her time as a student, she worked for the Recycling and Sustainability offices on campus and served as the Zero-Waste Coordinator for the university. In 2011 she joined the Lundberg Family Farms team as their Environmental Coordinator. She has since moved on to work with Chico Natural Foods Cooperative as their Facilities & Sustainability Manager. She has served on the SFTA BOD since 2013.

Jim Pierce

Global Certification Program Manager
Oregon Tilth Certified Organic
Corvallis, Oregon

With over 25 years of dedication to the Organic Revolution, Jim, worked from 2008-2015 as the Global Certification Program Manager for Oregon Tilth responsible for: monitoring, assessing and interpreting International Organic Standards for clients and staff, and managing international accreditations. Previous to this position Jim worked Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative as Certification Czar. He earned his degree in Microbiology at Western Illinois University. Jim and his wife Cathy currently reside in central Pennsylvania countryside with their two daughters and no television.

Jason Boyce

Sustainability Manager
Nature’s Path Foods
Richmond, BC, Canada

At Nature’s Path Foods, a leader in the organic food sector for over 25 years, Jason leads the efforts to achieve its ambitious sustainability goals such as Zero Waste 2015 and Climate Neutral 2020. He has over 10 years of experience working to support sustainable food systems, and obtained his MBA is Sustainable Business in 2008 from Pinochet University. He is a passionate foodie who loves spending his free time cooking in his kitchen with his family.