The world is a mess, and you are on a mission to change that.
You want to find a career with a food company that has a social conscious and a plan to empower the planet. A company that values community and encourages employees to do more and be more. It’s all about the impact or legacy we leave behind not the dollars we amass during our career.
Does this sound like you or someone you know? Why not put your values into your search for a food career?
If finding a company that lives up to a higher purpose is what motivates you it’s easier than ever to find and land an internship or job.
You have at least three ways to find mission-based food companies that will help simplify your search. You can search for a Benefit Corporation, a Certified Benefit Corporation (B Corp) or a nonprofit.
So what are these businesses and how do they differ?
- Benefit Corporation – a type of corporation that sprang out of the B Corp movement. A benefit corporation is a business entity with the legal definition under US law. It is a permanent business structure. A benefit corporation may choose to become certified by B LAB so it might be both a B Corp and a Benefit Corporation. Only companies in 30 states and D.C. qualify for benefit corporation status.
- B Corp – a for-profit business that is certified by the nonprofit group B LAB. It is a voluntary certification. It comes with a community and has an easily identifiable logo/label. B Corps pay a membership fee and are required to recertify every two When a company decides to become certified, they do not have to be a corporation. The certification is open to any business structure, state, or country.
Both B Corps and benefit corporations have a triple bottom line of accountability, transparency, purpose and require dedication to giving back.
- Accountability -Yearly audits by an independent third party standard- to assess social and environmental performance. The standard for assessment must be transparent to the public. Accountability includes sharing the amount and sources of financial support for the entity developing the standards and the relationship with the corporation.
- Transparency – both must submit an annual benefit report to shareholders and the public. Benefit Corporations self-report.
- Purpose – a benefit corporation must provide a benefit or positive impact on society and the environment.
- Nonprofit – is a business that must generate some public benefit by its work. Nonprofits have tax-exempt status and must make all financial and operating information public. Nonprofits earn money through charitable donations or fundraising. Nonprofits have a combination of paid staff and volunteers.
Other mission-based food companies might not fall into any of the above categories. You have probably sampled coffee, tea or chocolate that return a percentage of profits to the farmers who produce the crops.
If you want to work for a food company that takes a more inclusive approach to giving back let me introduce you to some B Corps.
At this date, there are 2429 certified B Corps with 236 of them being food companies.
Want to do a search and see if your favourite company listed? Head over to the B Corps website. You will notice some pretty big food brands such as Ben and Jerry’s are part of the B Corp movement.
Here’s a snapshot of some B Corps and the benefits that make them stand out:
If sweets are your jam this company may have you scooping up your resume and heading down to meet them in person. (in person is ALWAYS better).
Fiasco Gelato states on their website, “our mission and vision is to have a measurable impact on how the world looks at employment, business, and what we deserve as consumers. We just happen to do it by making Gelato. “
Here are some of the ways they are meeting their mission.
Fiasco Gelato is:
- B CORP CERTIFIED
This means they meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
- BULLFROG POWER & NEST
With Nest Thermostats & Bullfrog green energy, they are reducing their usage and carbon footprint.
- HOP COMPOST
With the help of Kevin and his team, they divert 95% waste from the landfill and will be ZERO waste by the end of 2016.
- LEAF CERTIFICATION
Compostable products, recycled materials, and sustainable ingredients. All of their trucks are certified.
- LIVING WAGE
Caring for your people means ensuring they have enough to live. As a living wage leader, they are accountable to their people.
- MEAL SHARE
$1 from every feature gelato can provide a real meal to someone in need; it’s pretty powerful stuff.
They respect the earth and all people. Buy local, invest in your community, be a smart consumer.
- UNITED WAY OF CALGARY
They invested in doing good in their community, with the help of United Way.
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods
If sustainable superfoods get you powered up to take on your day this could be the company for you. Here’s what they have to say on their website “Every decision we make, the action we take, and interaction we create is influenced by how it will impact the community and environment around us. Our moral fabric centers on a triple-bottom-line approach: people, planet, and profits. Embracing this mission, we’re proud to be a Certified B Corporation.”
Here are some of the ways Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods are changing the world
Lowest paid hourly worker receives >20% above the living wage; 100% of full-time employees participated in company’s bonus plan; >65% employee satisfaction reported
80% of materials or products purchased from Significant Suppliers have third-party social or environmental certification/approval
> 75% of company’s printed materials use recycled paper content, FSC certified paper or soy-based ink; >50% of energy used at corporate facilities comes from renewable sources; 90% of product is recycled, biodegradable, and contains environmentally preferred materials
What if animal rights are your thing? By now you have learned that the food industry can be less than kind to animals. If you believe in the Vegan lifestyle, Tofurky could be the B Corp where you are destined to work.
“We believe in people, animals and the environment over profits. As Tofurky grows, we continue to reinvest in animal welfare and environmental initiatives.”
- ANIMAL SANCTUARIES
The sanctuaries we support rescue, rehabilitate and re-home farm animals. And they welcome visitors! Meet some four-leggers and two-wingers face-to-face. Plan a field trip to your local sanctuary and tag us in a social post; we have gifts for kind-hearted-types.
- ANIMAL ADVOCACY
Animal advocacy groups work to make the world a safer, friendlier place for all animals, including the ones who live on farms. They fight for legislation, file litigation and launch campaigns to protect animals.
- MEAT REDUCTION
Meat reduction initiatives work with big institutions like schools and hospitals to help them serve less meat and create more animal-friendly menus. They support these groups who get the word out at home and around the globe.
- LOCAL SUPPORT
“We love our little town”. In addition to supporting local animal rescues, they fund community scholarships and bolster groups who protect forests and watersheds. They also have a special devotion to those who provide nutritious food for folks in need.
Where Do YOU Want To Work?
When searching for a position in the food industry, take a look at the culture of the company. By doing a little research into mission-based businesses such as B Corps, Beneficial Corporations, or nonprofits you can find a cause and culture that will impact your future.
Let’s empower the next generation of food industry professionals!
Author: Katie Jones
Katie is a freelance food science writer and product developer. We are so happy to include her in our Food Grads family! Come back and read more from Katie.
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