On “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,” David Bronner, Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s, talks about how the natural products company is setting a new standard for companies at the First Annual San Diego Food Tank Summit. Dr. Bronner’s is passionate about their place in the global market, promoting best agriculture practices and using all profits for missions and charities they believe in. “This company is an engine for progressive change,” says Bronner.
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Dr. Bronner’s recently donated over US$8 million to advocacy causes, including over US$1.4 million for regenerative organic agriculture projects. “It’s basically farming in nature’s image,” says Bronner. “Regenerative organic brings together the best of the soil health, fair labor, and animal welfare movements in a way that is about a more intensive knowledge-based management of the land to replicate a natural ecosystem. In a natural ecosystem, there’s no chemical inputs: there’s a balance of plant and animal life, self-regenerating.”
Founded in 1948, the company has since partnered with certified Fair Trade projects to source all major ingredients such as olive oil, coconut oil, and palm oil from around the world. Dr. Bronner’s aims to certify their products to a new Regenerative Organic Certified standard in 2018. “We have a lot of rockstar farms and brands involved. We’re going to be coming out of the gate. Very soon customers are going to think organic is not enough—we need to make sure farmers are being paid enough, and that the animals are being raised with high-level, pasture-raised criteria,” says Bronner.
Dr. Bronner’s is a founding partner in the Climate Collaborative, which presses for actions to reverse climate change amongst companies in the natural products industry. “Most companies… they have no visibility or transparency or interest in knowing how [their commodities are] produced and how they’re grown. That just ends up as a race to the bottom, land is being destroyed, communities are pulled apart, it’s horrible,” says Bronner. “We want to make sure that everyone who is involved in the production of our raw materials through the end manufacture, that those lives are being respected and that labor is not being exploited.”