WhiteWave recently held two exclusive sneak peak screenings of the Silk and Horizon sponsored film, GMO OMG for our employees and also for leaders in the natural and organic industry. As you already know (since you’re savvy readers of The Grazing Mind) GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

The film GMO OMG explores how loss of seed diversity and corresponding laboratory assisted genetic alteration of food affect young children, the health of our planet, and freedom of choice everywhere. At WhiteWave, we strongly support transparency in labeling and the right for people to know what’s in the food and beverages they eat and drink. WhiteWave is committed to the non-GMO movement and we are a supporter of the national campaign, Just Label It! and have been a longtime supporter of the Non-GMO Project. Silk’s entire line of plant-based beverages has been verified by, or is enrolled in, the Non-GMO Project. All of Horizon’s products carry the USDA Organic Seal, and have been certified organic for more than 20 years, highlighting the fact that all Horizon products are produced without the use of antibiotics, added growth hormones, and GMOs.

These screenings were a great opportunity for our employees and local leaders in the natural foods industry to learn more about this important topic and WhiteWave’s commitment to non-GMO. People didn’t seem to mind the organic popcorn that was served as well!

Please note: The opinions expressed in the film, GMO OMG are not necessarily that of WhiteWave Foods.

WhiteWave and the BolderBOULDER – more than just a sponsorship

Brian Allen from our Horizon sales team was on Denver’s 9News this morning to talk about WhiteWave’s sponsorship of the BolderBOULDER and the company’s training program for all employees in our Broomfield office. WhiteWave’s training program with Ric Rojas supports the health and wellness of Broomfield-based employees and is an example of how WhiteWave is working to become a different kind of food company.

The BolderBOULDER 10k is held on Memorial Day (this Monday!) and this year, WhiteWave has 80 employees registered to run the race.

Watch the video clip from 9News and learn more here:


Theses Bees are Bananas

As part of WhiteWave’s Values in Action (VIA) program that promotes volunteerism, community involvement, and environmental events and initiatives, our friends at Growing Gardens in Boulder came to our office recently to talk with us about the amazing world of honeybees. Interesting brown bag presentations such as this one are just one of the perks that employees of WhiteWave Foods get to enjoy. We learned so many fascinating facts about honeybees and want to share some of our favorites.


  • The honeybee is the only insect in North America that doesn’t hibernate in the winter
  • A honeybee’s whole body is covered in hair – even the eyes!
  • If you could combine all of the brains in a swarm of bees, the swarm would have a brain similar in size to a dog’s brain
  • A honeybee’s sense of smell is 40 times better than humans
  • If you get stung by a bee, smell the spot where you were stung. It will smell like bananas!
  • In the course of her lifetime, a worker bee will produce one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey
  • The average American consumes a little more than one pound of honey each year
  • Bees possess five eyes – three simple eyes that discern light intensity and two large compound eyes for detecting movement


Some of the most valuable fruits, nuts and field crops depend on insect pollinations, particularly pollination from honeybees.

  • Almonds – 100% pollinated by bees
  • Apples – 90%
  • Blueberries – 90%
  • Peaches – 48%
  • Oranges – 27%

Honeybees are responsible for one third of our food supply. Thank you, honeybees!

Values in Action

At WhiteWave Foods, being involved in our communities and treading lightly on the environment are important to our team members.

Values in Action (VIA) is our employee program that promotes volunteerism, community involvement, and environmental events and initiatives. Employees can log VIA points when they do things like volunteer, carpool to work and even use the stairs instead of the elevators (and we all know stair climbing is good for the quads). When all of the VIA points are collected at the end of each year, our employees are rewarded with prizes such as gift cards to our delicious Wave Café. A couple of lucky dogs even went home recently with iPad Minis.

One of our core values that helps guide us in our daily work is “Share What We Do Well.”  This value inspires us to find innovative ways to make a difference in our local communities. We’re proud to report that in 2012, WhiteWave employees volunteered more than 13,500 hours (that’s 562 days!) supporting a variety of non-profit and industry organizations such as Community Food Share (CFS), which is part of the national Feeding America network. In fact, during our annual Impact Day, WhiteWave employees provided close to 1,100 hours of service in just one day – serving more than 200 families and organizing more than 12,000 pounds of food at our local food banks.

A few months into this new year, and we’re busy working towards beating our 2012 VIA goals and continuing to make a positive impact in our local communities. Check back later in the year to see our progress.


Welcome to the organization…

Starting a new job is always exciting. It’s a fresh start with new people, new experiences and of course, new employee orientation. The orientation process has actually come a long way, and a lot of companies do some really cool things to keep the on-boarding fun and engaging. Here at WhiteWave, we’ve incorporated a volunteer event to go along with the on-boarding process as a way to show our new folks how important community is to the organization. It’s also a great opportunity to expose new people to our Values, most notably the one that states, “Share What We Do Well”. Just last week a crew of new employees got to spend half of their orientation day at Community Food Share. Check out some of the highlights below:

Evolving the idea of corporate citizenship

For decades companies have been rewarding employees for meeting or exceeding their standard day-to-day work objectives (like getting to work on time, meeting quarterly numbers and objectives, etc.). But what about the stuff that goes on outside the normal day-to-day work flow? The things that aren’t commonly tied to business objectives (like volunteering, finding more sustainable business processes, or even recommending new products)? Plenty of companies are really good at doing these extra things, but the activities aren’t necessarily tied to overall business goals.

At WhiteWave, we’re trying to change that by reframing how we measure success when it’s time to reward employees at the end of the year. It’s definitely an evolving process that’ll take time to perfect, but by integrating social responsibility and traditional business objectives into the same bucket, we’re focused on working to make corporate citizenship just as important as our business results.

And according to this recent article from Fast Company, we’re part of a growing number of companies that are integrating this kind citizenship into their business, and helping redefine what “success” looks like at the end of the year…

Bhakti in the house

Our good friends from Bhakti Chai stopped by with the goods today. Thanks for sharing the love, guys!

The Values that guide us…

One of the most impactful highlights of my time at WhiteWave Foods was when we created and launched our company Mission and Values in 2007.  For someone who runs the communications function at a company, that’s a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity. Most companies I’d worked for prior to WhiteWave already had mission statements and corporate values that had existed decades prior to my arrival. To have a hand in creating these important words that direct what WhiteWave stands for and how it will do business was pivotal and incredibly exciting.

As you can imagine, since we launched our Mission – “We will be the Earth’s favorite food company” – the company has evaluated many of the ways it does business. Whether it’s setting aggressive goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and waste, lowering the amount of sugar in some of our products or developing new packaging that reduces the amount of material used, we’re not afraid to find better ways to work.

All of that said, many of us – including our most senior leaders – felt we could do more to help make our Mission and Values a reality.

Some of us were concerned that our Mission and Values were becoming less meaningful and that worried us.  So we set out on a quest to find out from employees if our concerns were warranted. Was our Mission clear and specific enough? Did our Values help guide our decision making? Were people bringing them to life in their day-to-day work?  We wanted all of our employees to contribute to, and help us shape, who WhiteWave is and what we are becoming.  If we did this well, the hope is that it would help create a company that people love and trust, and one that they are excited to come to work for every day.

We asked employees to take part in this work and we discovered that they were eager to provide greater clarity about what our Mission and Values mean and how everyone here could apply them to their work.  After all, we want these words to guide our behavior – not just take up space on a wallet card or a sign on the wall.

As a result of employee input, we refined our Values. In fact, we added two new Values that employees felt strongly needed to exist – “Share What We Do Well” and “Individuals Matter.”

Since re-launching our Mission and unveiling our newly-evolved Values in January, we’ve hosted workshops with every functional group at WhiteWave designed to drive greater engagement in what those important words mean.  All of this is one of the big benefits of working at a young company. Each of us has a say in what we can and will become in the future. I’m proud to work for a company that is courageous enough to take a look at itself, and involve its employees in what it stands for. When people ask me how long I’ve been here and I tell them almost 10 years, they ask what’s kept me at WhiteWave so long. It’s work like this.  Who wouldn’t want an opportunity to make an impact and help shape a company’s future?

I completely dig that.


Gardens, Growing

Last week we received our annual (giant) bin of free compost from Eco-Cycle and A1 Organics, and a huge bundle of heirloom tomato plants from our friends at Growing Gardens. We actually helped make the compost through our on-site recycling and composting efforts (Check out more details here).

Gardening season at WhiteWave is officially on. Do you have a home garden? Tell us about in the comments below…

WhiteWave Perks

What’s it like to work at WhiteWave? Here’s a little glimpse via the Boulder Daily Camera…

Check out the full article here.