I've worked at Frontier Co-op for almost 35 years now. It's not unusual for people to stay at Frontier a long time — I only recently moved up to fourth on the longevity list — and there are a lot of good reasons for that. One of the most important is that Frontier Co-op cares about doing business the right way. Frontier is absolutely committed to doing all of its business fairly and ethically. As a cooperative, we not only return the co-op's profits to our member-owners, we reflect their values in caring deeply about the impact we have on the world.
Frontier has maintained its founding commitment to be fair and transparent in whatever we do — from treatment of employees to product quality to dealing with growers. This ethical approach has been reaffirmed time and time again by our members and, increasingly, in the general marketplace — people care about how a company does business. Our values statement expresses the extent of our commitment: “In all that we do, at all times and with all people, we conduct our affairs and the affairs of the company with unwavering integrity.”
Sustainability is a broad term and, as our latest Sustainability Report shows, we try to address every aspect of it, both environmental and social — sourcing, packaging, operations, employees, customers and giving back.
We pride ourselves on our relationships with our growers, who are often co-ops and other democratic groups of very small — and sometimes struggling — growers. Our fair, long-term contracts and in-person support help them earn a decent living from their work. And our sustainable sourcing program, Well Earth, helps improve their communities as well. Our continued expansion of our Well Earth program and other support of organic growers helps not only local communities and environment, but the global community as well. In terms of the environment, our CEO recently shared this plateful of initiatives that are underway for the current fiscal year:
- Increase pounds of sustainably sourced botanicals by 25%
- Increase recyclability of packaging to 90%
- Prioritize sustainable packaging in new product launches
- Conduct energy audits and implement the recommendations in all of our plants
- Improve the measurement of our carbon emissions
- Explore new carbon-reduction opportunities
- Make all of our plants Zero Waste compliant
We’ve long made special efforts to help the communities around the world where our products are grown. These are often disadvantaged agricultural communities struggling with economic and social problems. Our partnerships have major impacts on their lives. Through our Well Earth program, we identify and fund crucial needs for wells, schools and other projects that improve quality of life.
Since it was established in 2001, our Simply Organic 1% Fund has given back more than a million dollars to grower development projects and organic research, education and other initiatives. Other Frontier Co-op giving helps social causes such as projects to employ returning veterans, urban gardens and volunteer organic farms to feed the hungry, and housing for the homeless. Our Aura Cacia Positive Change Project supports organizations that help women overcome obstacles such as abuse, addiction and poverty to better their lives.
For me — as for our CEO and many other people here — a key aspect of what Frontier Co-op is all about is integrity. We're a co-op determined to succeed while conducting business as it should be conducted and treating people as they should be treated. It's who we are — and that's satisfying to be a part of.