6 Canadian B Corps Changing Food Supply (for the Better)
In terms of impact, the food system has huge potential to touch people’s lives and our planet’s well-being — and this potential grows with the global population. By partnering with local vendors and committing to sustainable practices, Certified B Corporations can establish food systems that help improve customers’ lives and enhance local communities through stronger economies and environments.
A few Canadian B Corps serve as prime examples of businesses that offer trustworthy, healthful products through strong, community-based supply chains. Read on to get a taste of their fresh takes on business as a force for good.
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What began as a small business selling nut butter at a weekend market in Vancouver has grown into a Certified B Corporation known as Left Coast Naturals that distributes nearly 30 brands, with nearly 200 organic and natural bulk foods, and manufactures three of its own brands: Hippie Snacks, Left Coast Bulk Foods and Left Coast Organics. The B Corp continues to grow by regularly adding new products but remains true to its philosophy: treat people the way you want to be treated. It practices this through its commitment to measuring success on a triple bottom line — people, planet and prosperity — and donating 5 percent of all profits to community environmental and social causes.
“Know where your food comes from” is the guiding philosophy for 100km Foods, an Ontario B Corp that sells and distributes local, sustainable foods to restaurants. Through its work to create a viable local food economy, 100km Foods helps producers get a fair price for their product and chefs get flavorful, fresh produce for their menus. By working with local growers, the B Corp is able to provide fruits and vegetables straight from the fields and on diners’ tables within 24 hours.
Mama Earth Organics lets customers select their own produce baskets for delivery to their home.
Since its start in 2007, Mama Earth Organics has built relationships with a network of more than 50 Toronto area farmers and artisans and a loyal following of members who get fresh, organic foods delivered to their homes. Customers can select from a wide range of products — from fruits and vegetables to prepare salads and snacks to freshly baked bagels and breads, and more. By partnering with local small-scale producers who also value fresh, organic products, Mama Earth Organics has built a B Corp based on its beliefs.
A SPUD delivery bin.
As a modern-day grocery, Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery (SPUD) offers online shopping and home delivery of organic, natural or locally and sustainably made products to customers in the Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary and Edmonton areas. Through its commitment to safe, fair working conditions for food producers and its relationships with 50 local farms and 500 local suppliers, the B Corp supports its local community and workers in its supply chain. SPUD uses delivery bins that eliminate unnecessary packaging, reduce waste and lower environmental impact.
Born from a desire to balance fishing traditions with environmental impact, Organic Ocean Seafood follows sustainable and environmentally responsible harvesting practices that ensure long-term environmental health. Using advances in aquaculture, the B Corp can supplement its wild catches with fresh seafood available year-round. Through a partnership with First Nations Commercial Fishing Enterprises, Organic Ocean created a community of seafood producers — traditional, modern and indigenous — who promote environmental stewardship through sustainable harvesting, handling and processing methods.
Established by organic farmers who value social responsibility and sustainability, Salt Spring Coffee was an early adopter of B Corp certification, in 2010, and was the first Canadian coffee company to join 1% for the Planet, in 2012. Its organic beans are sold, served and enjoyed in stores and cafes across Canada. Through its Fair to Farmer program, the B Corp creates partnerships in the communities where its beans are grown in Latin America, Africa, and Sumatra. Since it began measuring its waste diversion in 2012, Salt Spring Coffee has improved its rate from 89 percent to 96.94 percent in 2018 — well above the industry standard of 56 percent.