Notice! Care2 will go offline for site maintenance July 28 at 9pm PST. Thanks
START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

From Roadside Stand to International Organic Company

From Roadside Stand to International Organic Company

 

Note: In honor of Social Venture Network’s 25-year anniversary, the network is inducting 25 of its most innovative and influential leaders into its hall of fame Nov. 13 at Gotham Hall in New York City. To recognize these sustainable business pioneers, SVN’s news program, ‘Sustainable Solutions,’ is interviewing the hall-of-famers to celebrate their accomplishments and learn what more needs to be done. Read the whole series here.

How did a two-and-a-half-acre heirloom raspberry farm and roadside stand blossom into the largest grower of organic produce in North America? Myra Goodman says it is “an accidental story.”

It started when Myra and her husband Drew moved to California for college from New York. When Myra was looking into graduate school, an opportunity arose for the couple to live a year on a raspberry farm where they could do improvements in exchange for rent.

“We just fell in love with living on this farm in Carmel Valley and ended up turning it into a real business,” says Myra,  in a phone interview from the farm that’s still her home.

The Goodmans founded Earthbound Farm in 1984 with organic raspberries as their first crop. In 1986, the company became the first to successfully launch pre-washed salad packaged for retail sale. The success of the salads led to Earthbound Farm being credited with popularizing spring mix salads.

The company continued to grow, and in 1993 started selling its salad greens to major food retailers including Costco, Lucky, Safeway and Albertson’s.

Myra says they grew through partnering with conventional farmers who were interested in organic produce because it was a market opportunity, not because of a commitment to ecology. When they discovered it was financially successful, the farmers wanted to convert more acres to organic, she says.

Over time, when the farmers saw how much healthier the soil and environment was as a result of organic farming, they realized the benefits, she adds.

Earthbound Farm’s 200 farmers working on 40,000 acres of land saves the use of more than 14 million pounds of synthetic chemicals each year.

“That’s something I’m really proud of,” says Myra.

In addition, more than 457,000 pounds of toxic and persistent pesticides are avoided and an estimated 2.3 million gallons of petroleum is conserved because they are farming organically instead of conventionally.

Through the business, Earthbound Farm uses substantial cardboard and plastic to take their organic produce to market. Myra says because of the impact of the packaging, they hired someone who worked on greening their supply chain. Earthbound Farm became the first company to use 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic for its salad clamshell packaging.

The company also switched to use 100 per cent post-consumer recycled cardboard.

The change in plastic alone saves 74,165 gallons of water annually and keeps more than 1.4 million pounds of solid waste out of the landfill.

“I learned so much about how these shifts can have such a huge positive impact on the environment,” says Myra, noting when she wrote The Earthbound Cook she shared ways to lighten your impact on the environment through food choices and preparation habits.

She says when businesses make positive choices the impacts can be considerable and that knowledge can be used by consumers to make an even bigger change. Myra says its the consumers who have concerns about the long-term health of their own bodies and the planet that are seeding a lot of pressure for companies to save resources.

A large role for socially-responsible businesses is to ignite major change towards saving resources and being green, she adds.

Myra and Drew are among five “environmental evangelists” being inducted into the Social Venture Network’s Hall of Fame that is recognizing outstanding leaders who have transformed the way the world does business.

This article written by AxiomNews.ca is part of a Social Venture Network series featuring its Hall of Fame honorees.

 

Related Stories:

Organic Farming Pioneers Receive SVN Award

Our Extra Weight Endangers Food Security and the Environment

New Company Launches To Unjunk Candy

 

Read more: , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

54 comments

+ add your own
7:40AM PDT on Jul 1, 2012

Congratulations to them.

5:26AM PDT on Jul 1, 2012

Must be nice to have a banker that likes organic and sustainable. They don't exist in my area.

Remember that for every drop of ethanol that you consume, a corn plant that grows about 3 months out of the year replaced a tree that grows about 10 months (with the benefit of holding soil in place with roots and blocking winds (remember the "dust bowl")).

9:32AM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

I met Myra on a hike in Big Sur when they were just starting Earthbound Farms. I'm so happy for the Goodmans! They weren't sure their dream could become a reality, but it did!

7:41AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

That's great! Thanks for sharing!

2:36PM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

Thanks for the great article. My hat's off the Myra and Drew Goodman, thank you both.

8:31AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

great story

2:37PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

ty for the info

11:41AM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

This is awesome.

9:52AM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

This is great. So good to hear about a successful organic business that started small. It just goes to show there is the demand for the product they are offering.

1:22AM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

Thanks for all the info.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

If the EPA isn't doing their job, disband it.

Don't buy anything for instance seafood, from Canada either, they are cruel towards livestock, their…

Google just wants to steal your great idea on the cheap!

meet our writers

Lindsay Spangler Lindsay Spangler is a Web Editor and Producer for Care2 Causes. A recent UCLA graduate, she lives in... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.