My advice to other organizations that want to pursue B Corp status — or simply commit to sustainability — is this: Just get started.
Ed Townley, Former CEO of Cabot Creamery
At Rhino Foods, our motto is delicious things, done right. In 2020, it’s more important than ever to take a hard look at the “done right” part of our mission. Our promise to the B Corp movement is to engage with “…a community of leaders and drive a global movement of people using business as a force for good.” This work is not perfect, nor ever complete. It’s a commitment to continuous improvement and seeking to push the world towards a stronger, healthier tomorrow. For all people.With an attitude of gratitude, we’d like to shine a light on just a few examples of the good being done by six of our favorite Vermont food B Corp companies and amplify some of the hard, necessary work they’re doing to use business as a force for good.
Lake Champlain Chocolates
These passionate chocolatiers have been delighting our taste buds for 35 years and have sought to serve the community every step of the way. Earlier this summer, Lake Champlain Chocolates teamed up with fellow Vermont B Corp, Vermont Creamery, to deliver a limited edition Maple Crème Fraiche and Chocolate Crème Fraiche ice cream with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Vermont Foodbank. Raising over $2,500, Lake Champlain Chocolates was able to provide more than 5,200 meals for those in need.
As we reckon with the racial injustice that has plagued our nation, Vermont Creamery has committed to slowing down and learning. “We acknowledge how much we have to learn, how peripheral this important conversation has been in our largely white, rural state, and how great our responsibility is to use our platform and our voice to work towards inclusivity, equity, and justice. There is no quick solution…” Vermont Creamery made donations to the NAACP and the ACLU of Vermont and pledged to match employee donations dollar-for-dollar. In addition to making available anti-racist resources to employees, they provide learning materials to the children of employees.
King Arthur Baking Company
During Pride Month this past June, King Arthur Flour, now King Arthur Baking Company (after 230 years!) released a series about redefining inclusivity and what it means to be an ally to the LGBTQ community. Suzanne McDowell, King Arthur’s Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, wrote “…being an ally to my son and others in the LGBTQ community has always meant meeting people where they are. This simple principle has been the root of my career at King Arthur Flour, too.” As a tangible next step, King Arthur Flour donated to The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention services to LGBTQ youth and encouraged readers and customers to do the same.
The award winning dairy coop, Cabot, was featured in a recent Harvard Business Review article, where former Cabot CEO, Ed Townley said, “My advice to other organizations that want to pursue B Corp status — or simply commit to sustainability — is this: Just get started.” At the beginning of the Covid-19 shutdown, Cabot’s Department of Gratitude, an entire wing of the company dedicated to expressing appreciation to those who volunteer in their communities, shipped more than 13,000 pounds of our favorite cheese bars to over 1,000 hospitals and frontline organizations in 46 states.
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s is a pioneer in using business as a force for good and they’re continuing to face systemic racism head on. Jabari Paul, Ben & Jerry’s US Activism Manager, said, “Economic and social justice has been a part of Ben & Jerry’s mission since our founding 42 years ago… If we are to seize the opening that this moment presents, we must be willing to acknowledge the sins of our past so that we move together toward a future of justice and equity.” On September 15, 2020, Ben & Jerry’s launched a podcast in partnership with Vox Media called, “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America” that “…will take a deep look at our country’s lesser-known history of racial injustice and show how legally-enforced discrimination and state-sanctioned brutality continued long after slavery ended.”
Our friends at The Alchemist, home to the hoppy hero, Heady Topper, have made it clear that they’re taking steps to help dismantle racism in society. The company aims to “…leverage our social, human, political and financial capital to contribute to the dismantling of white supremacy and systemic racism. As a certified B Corp the investment of these critical resources is central to the success of our business.” Collaborating with the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, The Alchemist has identified three pillars of focus– ensuring anti-racist education in public schools, strengthening their brand position within the multicultural marketplace and positioning Vermont as a desirable destination for people of color.
The Vermont entrepreneurial spirit is strong, impactful and expanding. We at Rhino Foods are proud to stand alongside these innovative, justice-minded businesses as members of the Vermont food B Corp tribe. So now we ask: What can YOU do to begin to change the world for good? Just get started.