April 22, 2020
How To Put People, Planet & Purpose First in Uncertain Times
As we continue to monitor COVID-19 (coronavirus) developments, we want to emphasize the importance of taking care of ourselves, our loved ones, and our customers. As a food producing company, we believe we have a greater societal obligation to feed people particularly during these times of need when we see empty food shelves at the markets.
In these times of uncertainty and unpredictability both in business and in society, it is imperative for us to hold our mission as our guide, and to stay true to our B Corporation commitment of putting people, planet & purpose first. As one of the first farming companies to become B Corp Certified, we are constantly thinking about how to be a force for good in our industry, and we are committed to continuing to champion the #BtheChange spirit, especially now.
Here are five ways we are thinking about our stakeholders during these unprecedented times of COVID-19:
B CORP PILLAR #1) WORKERS: Worker safety and security are of the utmost importance to us at AeroFarms, and we have always been committed to feeding our communities and providing year-round jobs with fair wages and benefits. To help our AeroFarms family cope with the changes in daily life routines from COVID-19, we staggered work shifts to maximize social distancing and to allow for life shifts like change in childcare. In addition, we are also giving our employees additional hourly pay and additional paid sick time to ensure they are able to take off time, if needed.
B CORP PILLAR #2) CUSTOMERS: Providing local, safe greens to our customers is our priority, and we are taking additional preventative measures to ensure our indoor vertical farms are up-to-date real-time of all industry guidelines and suggestions. For example, in addition to our already strict standard operating procedures inside the farm, we have implemented additional temperature stations to ensure all team members do not have a fever before entering. For more information about our COVID-19 policies, please refer to our website here.
B CORP PILLAR #3) SUPPLIERS: We want to take a moment to acknowledge the hero’s work that our selling partners are doing, staying open, and ensuring access to food and supplies. We join them with a resolute resolve to continue our farm operations to grow safely, locally, every day of the year. We work closely with our suppliers to ensure our practices and supplies are exceeding industry standards for safety and in line with the most up-to-date guidelines from the USDA and CDC. We are focusing our efforts on staying flexible so we can quickly pivot farm operations where needed to ensure we can continue to grow and distribute fresh, safe greens to our communities.
B CORP PILLAR #4) COMMUNITY: At AeroFarms, being an active part of our community is in our DNA and we feel an even greater obligation during these times to provide our community with fresh, safe food. We partner with local organizations like Table to Table and the Community Food Bank for NJ and Teens for Food Justice to share our greens to those in need. We are committed to being a catalyst for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #2, addressing Zero Hunger, on both a global and local scale now more than ever. As we scale our farms to bring fresh, local food closer to communities globally, we are also supporting the goal to reach zero hunger by 2030 right here in New Jersey and the surrounding NY Metropolitan area.
B CORP PILLAR #5) ENVIRONMENT: Our food choices matter: everything we eat has an impact on our health and the health of the planet. At AeroFarms, our philosophy is to do more with fewer resources. With Planet Earth in mind, we grow with 95% less water and as much as 390 times more productivity per square foot using zero pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. We grow and distribute food locally to drastically cut carbon emissions and minimize and eliminate food waste across the supply chain. Learn more about our environmental impact on our website here.
The core pillars of being a B Corp Certified Company are built into the way we operate. No matter what the circumstances, it is vitally important to us to live by the values that AeroFarms was founded on, and we are proud of our world-class team for their agility and resiliency during this time as well as of our partners working hard to make sure fresh food is accessible to our communities at this critical time. Thank you.