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OUR HISTORY

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Frontier began as a two-person operation in 1976 in a river cabin in Eastern Iowa. Since then we‘ve grown steadily to become a major supplier of natural products. Our success throughout the years reflects our close harmony with the product needs and the values of our members and natural products consumers.

1970


Begin selling herbs and spices to local co-ops as a two-person operation in a small riverside cabin.

Add first organic products to line and lead in promoting the environmental and social benefits of organics.

Buy 5,200 sq. ft. grocery store in Fairfax, Iowa, and move operations there.

Begin bottling Frontier Co-op essential oils in response to store requests.

Begin selling other manufacturer's products in response to store requests. Incorporate as cooperative owned by customers.

1980

Return first patronage refund to Frontier member/owners. Elect Frontier's first Board of Directors.

Purchase 10 acres near Norway, Iowa, and build 22,152 sq. ft. facility.

Listed 78th on Inc. magazine's list of "America's Fastest Growing Companies."

Establish subsidized on-site childcare and cafeteria.

First in the natural products industry to use a natural CO2 fumigation process.

1990

Launch line of Frontier brand bottled spices.

Establish tall grass prairie on Norway site.

Introduce cryogenic grinding to preserve product quality in processing.

Host the first of 13 HerbFest conferences, the country's largest annual conference on herbs and sustainable living.

Buy Aura Cacia aromatherapy brand.

Implement an in-house Gas Chromatography testing program to ensure essential oil quality.

2000

Introduce the Simply Organic brand, a 100% organic line.

Begin offering Fair Trade Certified teas.

Establish the Well Earth program to develop high quality and socially responsible suppliers around the world.

Publish Frontier’s first Sustainability Report.

Introduce the first Fair Trade Certified spices in U.S.

Establish the Simply Organic 1% Scholarship at the University of California Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.

2010

Implement steam sterilization to naturally eliminate pathogens while maintaining product flavor and aroma.

Purchase and renovate 100,000 sq. ft. facility in North Liberty.

Aura Cacia Organic 1% Fund builds a preschool in Madagascar for supplier community children.

With Simply Organic 1% Fund, the Well Earth program builds 49 new wells in the communities supplying our vanilla.

Chosen as the 2013 Whole Foods Supplier of the Year.

Provide 300 dormitory-style bunk beds and school subsidize so Vietnamese children can attend school.

Launch first Non-GMO Project Verified products, including the first Non-GMO Verified vanillas available.