Cultivating a Responsible Food System

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At WhiteWave, we take a holistic approach to sustainability that includes nurturing the health of our bodies, our planet and our community. One of the key pillars of our sustainability strategy is Cultivating a Responsible Food System.

To us, this means embedding sustainability in every product, via the use of sustainable agriculture, efficient operations and innovative design. To learn more about how we do this, and why we feel it’s so important, check out this short video , the first in a three part series that we’ll be sharing over the next couple of weeks about each of our three sustainability pillars.

Celebrate Share What We Do Well Month

At WhiteWave, we empower our employees to live their personal values, and the company’s values, through engagement in areas like volunteerism, community activism and commitments to better themselves and the environment.

SWWDWMOne way we make a difference in our communities is through Share What We Do Well Month. This is the seventh year we have organized the company-wide volunteer initiative that takes place throughout the month of October. We are proud to share that in 2015, 97 percent of employees from our corporate offices, plants and regional sales offices participated in volunteer activities ranging from stocking food banks to pitching in at community gardens and animal shelters. In total, more than 30 nonprofits in 15 cities were supported by our volunteers.

Share What We Do Well Month truly embodies the spirit of WhiteWave. We believe our communities are our partners, and by taking care of each other, we can show the world a better way. We will be posting news and photos from our various excursions throughout this month, so be sure to check back with us for updates.

Changing the Way the World Eats for the Better

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What exactly do we mean when we say we want to “Change the Way the World Eats for the Better”? It’s not just about producing great-tasting food (though that is important!) Ultimately, it’s about doing so in a way that’s better for people, our communities and our planet. Not only do we want consumers to enjoy our products, but we also want to be a company people trust.

Changing the Way the World Eats for the Better means looking across our entire value chain for ways we can improve our commitment to producing food responsibly. It means embedding sustainability in every product, which encompasses things like working with our suppliers to address commodity challenges, creating more sustainable and innovative packaging, becoming more efficient in our manufacturing facilities, and making progress in our sustainable cocoa and palm oil sourcing and against our environmental footprint goals (you can read more about these specific goals and our progress against them here.

Changing the Way the World Eats for the Better means advancing transparency. We want to demonstrate openness and integrity in both our labeling and how we report on our environmental impacts. In 2015, we were added to the CDP’s Climate Disclosure Leadership Index for the quality of our carbon emissions and energy disclosures. We also want consumers to understand what’s in the food and beverages they eat and drink. Nearly 75 percent of our brand portfolio carries either non-genetically modified organisms (Non-GMO) Project or ProTerra-verified seals, or is certified organic.

Changing the Way the World Eats for the Better means leading by example, inspiring positive change and empowering our employees. When we push ourselves to change for the better, we show our partners, suppliers and communities a better way as well. Most notably, in 2015 we donated more than 2 percent of our pretax profit to organizations dedicated to making a difference in hunger relief and environmental sustainability. Our employees themselves donated more than 11,000 volunteer hours globally. Our suppliers must not source materials that contribute to the deforestation of high conservation value areas or interfere with the habitats of endangered species.

Changing the Way the World Eats for the better isn’t just a tagline – it represents our commitment to cultivating a responsible food system, illuminating better options for consumers and empowering our employees. To learn more about WhiteWave and what makes us different, click here.

Venus de Miles Fundraiser!

Huge thanks to everyone who participated and donated to the Greenhouse Scholar’s raffle this week. WhiteWave successfully raised $500 for the education-based non-profit organization. Also a big congratulations to all the riders – what a great achievement for a great cause! Each dollar raised/donated will go to help support, inspire, and drive extraordinary, but under-resourced college students to truly change the trajectory of their families and low-income communities forever.14142072_10154201102068429_6969256831393874469_nImage By: Greenhouse Scholars

Happy 25th Birthday Horizon Organic!

We recently hosted a celebration at our corporate headquarters in honor of Horizon Organic’s 25th Birthday! 25 years ago, Horizon helped pioneer the organic dairy movement, becoming the first company to supply organic milk nationwide. But they didn’t stop there, over the years Horizon Organic has expanded its lineup of products to include organic crackers, grahams, fruit snacks and even mac and cheese — what’s not to celebrate? Happy the Cow was on hand to cut the cake and dance to music provided by DJ Drake. Check out photos from the party below and visit Horizon Organic to see what they are up to next. Cheers to another 25 years!

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Women at Work: 8 Ways to Define and Grow Your Leadership

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Recently, Karyl Innis from the Innis Company, led a discussion at WhiteWave around women and leadership, specifically, what often inhibits women’s career growth and/or promotions, factors at play throughout a woman’s career, and 8 solutions to start implementing today to grow your leadership. Innis works with leading organizations worldwide to enable executive and corporate employees to build stronger, more distinguished careers.

While women are in the “pipeline” to success they have they often come up against three potential issues that Innis terms the “leaky pipeline effect”:

1.The inability to enter     2. Getting stuck in the middle    3. Being locked out at the top

Karyl Innis’ 8 Solutions to Prevent the  Leaky Pipeline Effect and Grow Your Leadership:

1. Get Comfortable with Power- Pursue power and use it as a tool.

2. Be Intentional- Know what you are seeking and ask for it.

3. Face Your Fears- Don’t be afraid to do what is uncomfortable, those are the times you grow the most.

4. Identify and Build Strategy- Network and build relationships with those that will provide resources and support for professional/career growth.

5. Act With Power- Don’t think of power as a negative manipulative force, instead use your confidence/ presence to better position yourself for success.

6. Don’t Cede the Hill- Don’t surrender your power by giving up too soon, instead take on the hill one step at a time.

7. Practice- We’ve all heard “practice makes perfect.” That maxim applies to leading too. Practice your leadership traits and give yourself time to grow into your new or future role.

8. Leverage your Individual and your Collective Power- After you identify and get comfortable with your power, utilize it alongside the power of those in your circle/network to better leverage yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

Cycling Tips from Keith Bailey

In preparation for the upcoming Venus de Miles ride, Keith Bailey from Pearl Izumi share his best tips for fueling up for a ride and top necessities with our team. His experience includes personal training, being the captain of the Bike Medical MS Safety Team, and competing for charities across the country.

Before the ride

  • A 1% drop in hydration adversely affects performance, making adequate water intake leading up to the ride crucial
  • Your pre-ride meal should have a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. For high endurance rides, Keith recommended a pre-ride meal with ingredients like oats and quinoa, egg, nuts, berries and bananas.Mason-Jar-Oatmeal

During the Ride

  • imagesWater to start and water throughout, targeting a rate of 16 oz per hour
  • Avoid hard foods/bars during ride
  • 08-products_0000s_0004s_0001s_0001_us_vegasport_endurance_gel_boxangle_orange_1Use sugar and electrolyte supplements  to provide instant and sustained energy during your ride, such as Vega’s sports gels

 

  • Try to avoid ‘coasting’ during your ride, remember, a body in motion stays in motion! When you stop peddling or moving around (even at rest stops) your mind thinks you’re done,  its starts to tell your body and muscles it doesn’t have to work anymore. Trying to get going again after that only makes it feel like your starting all over.

Post Ride

  • After you cross the finish line its important to replace lost nutrients. For this Keith recommends having a protein shake along side a meal balanced with protein, carbohydrates, and fats.20160728_123256
  • Keith’s motto, “H20 till you go”, is the easiest way to manage your water intake and assure your getting enough after your ride
  • Take a nap! Sleeping is when the recovery process begins and your body can strengthen itself and repair any damage.

 

 

And a Few Gear Tips and Riding Essentials

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-Remember to replace helmets after EVERY crash and at least every two years20160728_123741

-Always carry a patch kit, Keith’s kit has a tire iron, CO2 cartridge, multi-tool and sunblock

-Cycling shoes are recommended to increase the use of your up stroke and to provide the fullest circular motion while riding

imgres-Absolutely no headphones, not only will you not be able to hear traffic but it also throws off your balance

-Wear a Road ID, this can be in the form of a wrist band and/or an app in your cell phone. Be sure to include any medical or emergency contact information

-As a rule of thumb, flashing lights are best for roadways while solid lights are best used on paths

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7 Ways to Support Small Farms

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This week at WhiteWave we had a special visit from Kayann Short, owner of Stonebridge Farm and author of A Bushel’s Worth: An Ecobiography. She shared her farm’s mission and ways in which community-supported agriculture (CSA) is good for the land, communities, and our overall health.

7 Ways You Can Support Small Farms and Your Communities:

1. Memberships– Become members at your local farm or organize groups to support through volunteering or visiting your local farmers market.

2. Events- Check out events held at Stonebridge or local farms near you that you can get involved with.

3. Education- Visiting or supporting small farms can be a great way to help kids understand and respect where their food comes from.

4. Food Swapping- If you grow your own garden, swapping produce with your neighbors can be a fun alternative to grocery shopping.

5. Environmental Advocacy- Find a program or cause that interests you and see how you can help.

6. Preservation- Join the conversation on ways to help protect the future of small farms.

7. Eat more Veggies- Compared to meat, vegetable production uses about 47% less water per ton. #DoPlants

 

 

 

Horizon Awards 2016 HOPE Scholarships

Horizon Organic has announced the four recipients of the 2016 Horizon® Organic Producer Education (HOPE) Scholarships, an award that encourages young people to pursue careers in the organic food community. The students, each of whom will receive $2,500, are children or grandchildren of Horizon’s nearly 700 family farmers.

In 2007, Horizon became the first national organic dairy brand to offer a scholarship program focused on supporting the next generation of organic leaders. Today, the organic industry continues to see growing consumer demand for organic foods, due in part to concerns about the effects of pesticide use and growth hormones, the impacts of antibiotic resistance, and increased awareness of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

This year’s four scholarship recipients are:

MiaBrown_photoMia Brown (Gouverneur, N.Y.), age 19, is the daughter of Horizon producers Gary Jr. and Colleen Tweedie of Beaver Creek Farm. Mia is a two-time HOPE Scholarship recipient. She will begin her sophomore year at Morrisville State College in New York this fall, seeking a degree in animal science. Mia is working toward her life-long goal of owning her own dairy farm and educating others about the importance of organic agriculture. She now has six Brown Swiss and four Holsteins.

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Kristen Davis (New Sharon, ME), age 18, grew up on Silver Valley Farm and graduated from Mt. Blue High School where she served as the president of the Franklin County 4-H Dairy Club and was selected 2015 Maine Dairy Princess. Her father, James Davis, and her uncle, Richard Davis, own and operate Silver Valley Farm together and they have shipped to Horizon Organic for nine years. Kristen will begin her freshman year this fall at Husson University in Bangor, Maine, where she will study Mass Media with a focus on Marketing Communications. Kristen plans to use her degree to advocate for organic agriculture.

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Sadee Mehuren (Searsmont, ME), age 18, is the daughter of Horizon producer Glendon Mehuren of Faithful Venture Farm. Sadee will begin her freshman year this fall to pursue a degree in Animal and Veterinary Science at University of Maine. She hopes to one day raise her own dairy cattle and continue to compete in dairy cattle shows while educating the public on facts about organic farming.

Summer

Summer Spaulding (Bethel, VT), age 18, is the daughter of Horizon Producers James and Tina Spaulding of Good Oak Farm. Summer will attend The College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vermont this fall to pursue a degree in Social Services. The Spaulding family regularly opened their home to struggling youths, which had a profound impact on Summer’s desire to help others in need. Through social work, Summer intends to guide children and adults in nutritional values and goals. Spending her childhood on an organic farm has helped Summer understand how consuming organic products affects well-being for people, animals, and the planet.

The 2016 HOPE Scholarship recipients were chosen by a committee of organic industry leaders, including: Tracy Favre, organic inspector and former chief operating officer, Holistic Management International (HMI); Steve Gilman, policy coordinator, Northeast Organic Farming Association – Interstate Council; Margaret Scoles, executive director, Independent Organic Inspectors Association; Faye Jones, farm policy coordinator, Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship; Bob Scowcroft, a long-standing organic advocate who has served in various leadership positions for 35 years; and Glenda Yoder, associate director, Farm Aid.

 

2014-2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

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Today, we unveiled new sustainability commitments in our 2014-2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Report. The report, which is available here, highlights our passion for producing food responsibly and our unrelenting focus on using our resources to make a positive and lasting impact on our planet. In addition to announcing 2025 environmental targets, we fulfilled our 2016 commitment to source 100 percent of the cocoa powder used to produce our North American brands, expanded our 100 percent sustainable cocoa commitment to our European Alpro brand, and pledged to reduce sugar in Alpro products by 12.5 percent by 2020.

In the past two years, we’ve reduced waste to landfill by 52 percent and water use by 6 percent. And through our commitment to continuous improvement, by 2025, production across all brands will require 20 percent less water and energy and result in 20 percent less waste and greenhouse gas emissions per pound of product.

At WhiteWave, we aim to change the way the world eats for the better®. Our 2014-2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Report outlines this vision and activities in key areas:

  • Cultivating a Responsible Food System: Our environmental achievements to date, including: resource conservation, efficient operations, responsible sourcing and sustainable agriculture
  • Illuminating Better Options: Our commitment to quality, food safety, transparent labeling, consumer education and sustainable packaging
  • Empowering Employees: Our initiatives to inspire employees through meaningful engagement, diversity & inclusion, and philanthropy

These are just some of the many ways our brands – and, more importantly, our people behind them – are changing the way the world eats for the better by producing food responsibly and caring for people and the planet.