Worcester Business Journal
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In an encore episode, Steve D’Agostino interviews Gary Hirshberg, founder, chair and former president and CEO of Stonyfield Farm.
Gary is the husband of freelance writer Meg Hirshberg and the father of three yogurt eaters. He is our co-founder and chairman, author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World, and co-author of Label It Now: What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Foods. Gary is a frequent speaker on topics including sustainability, climate change, the profitability of green business and organic agriculture. He also advocates for change in national food and agriculture policies, including those regarding the labeling of genetically engineered foods.
During Gary's 28-year tenure as Stonyfield's president and "CE-Yo," the company grew from a seven-cow organic farming school to $360 million in annual sales, by consistently producing great-tasting products and using innovative marketing techniques that blended the company's social, environmental and financial missions.
In 2001, Stonyfield entered into a partnership with Groupe Danone, and in 2005, Gary was named managing director of Stonyfield Europe, a joint venture between the two firms with brands in Canada, Ireland and France. In early 2012, Gary handed off his president and CE-Yo roles to mission-driven business leader Walt Freese.
Before Stonyfield, Gary directed the Rural Education Center, the small organic farming school from which Stonyfield was spawned. Before that, Gary had served as executive director of The New Alchemy Institute, a research and education center dedicated to organic farming, aquaculture and renewable energy.
Gary serves on several corporate and nonprofit boards including those of Applegate Farms, Honest Tea, Peak Organic Brewing, The Full Yield, Climate Counts, SweetGreen, RAMp Sports, Stonyfield Europe, Glenisk and the Danone Communities Fund.