Barkwheats: It’s A Dog’s (Fair Trade) Life
Barkwheats was founded to serve a purpose, rather than a profit. Inspired by their dogs and a desire to support local small-scale, organic agriculture, this B Corp found its calling in dog biscuits. Grain-free, nutritious and low impact, kibble has never been so beneficial. Ingredients were carefully chosen so as to be available locally and 95% of the ingredients come from small, neighboring farms. The rest are purchased at fair prices and Barkwheats has become the first Fair Trade Certified pet product – a huge accomplishment. In this way, consumers can carry their values over to their extended pet families.
Outside of examining input, this organization has carefully considered their output. With two years of experience, they are on the leading edge of this quickly growing industry. Packaging is 100% compostable, with a recycled box and biodegradable bag. Furthermore, all printing is done on recycled paper and the facility composts, recycles and reduces electricity usage through CFL bulbs and energy efficient equipment. Local production cuts transportation costs and funnels resources back into the community. Through careful planning and a holistic business approach, Barkwheats has molded itself into a true triple bottom-line business.
The organization became certified as a B Corp to support the ideal of a new business model and to separate themselves from greenwashing companies, a growing problem in the industry. Additionally, Barkwheats wished to join a larger community of likeminded business people. Owner Chris Roberts states, “Business is the most powerful thing in the world right now.” It is important to harness this power and drive change. The large community to reach out to for advice has been invaluable and something for which he is truly thankful.
Barkwheats is growing exponentially and will work to continue to do so into the future. Recently installing new ovens, production will be able to expand from 80 boxes a day to 160 per hour. This will not only open markets to farmers but best of all means, “Lots and lots of more happy dogs!” From educating consumers to building engaged and longstanding relationships with farmers, this B Corp offers a truly unique and holistic approach to pet treats. We invite you to Better Know and support Barkwheats.
photo credit: Barkwheats
By Katie Kerr, B Lab