In an all-new The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino talks with Kelly Porter, chief people officer of Harmless Harvest, about whether the food industry is ready to go beyond Fair Trade.
As consumers, we are familiar with the “Fair Trade” label on food such as coffee, tea and chocolate—which means farmers received a fair price for the goods they harvested. More recently, food companies have begun to focus on “Fair For Life” certification—which goes beyond fair prices to include fairness in treatment and long-term investment in farming communities.
Only 500 organizations worldwide have received the Fair For Life certification—one of them being San Francisco's Harmless Harvest, a company specializing in organic, great-tasting and sustainably farmed coconut water.
Fair For Life certification is a badge of honor that represents the highest ethical standards in product safety, environmental sustainability and fair wages and working conditions for employees throughout the product's supply chain.
Harmless Harvest gets its coconuts from rural communities in Thailand—and has made a powerful impact on these farming communities. Key annual Fair For Life statistics for Harmless Harvest include:
12 mobile health check-up clinics conducted in rural Thai communities in 2015 (an average of one per month)
906 Thai locals examined by Harmless Harvest's mobile healthcare check-up unit
200 farmers and factory workers sustainably employed by Harmless Harvest in Thailand
386 school uniforms (required to attend classes) provided to 193 local Thai schoolchildren
Nearly $40,000 reinvested by Harmless Harvest in communities throughout rural Thailand
In the U.S., Thailand and beyond, Harmless Harvest reports that it “shows the power of an ecosystem-based business to return both profit and positive benefit for people and the planet (all while delivering a delicious and hydrating product).”