This year, San Francisco coconut water brand Harmless Harvest announced that it had attained Fair for Life certification for the third year in a row. Fair for Life certification ties together ethical standards in environmental sustainability, fair wages, product safety and working conditions. And, at Harmless Harvest, the positive impact reaches beyond its partner communities in Thailand to include a healthy bottom line at home.
If you ask CEO Giannella Alvarez, the company chose Fair for Life because it "goes beyond the requirements of fair trade certification by combining fair trade with strict standards for social accountability for socially responsible companies.” Among these standards are fair prices for goods and ensuring the wellbeing of local communities.
The powerful impact the company was able to make in Thailand includes:
- 12 mobile health check-up clinics conducted in rural communities in 2015
- 906 Thai locals examined by Harmless Harvest's mobile healthcare check-up unit
- 200 farmers and factory workers sustainably employed
- 386 school uniforms (required to attend classes) provided to 193 schoolchildren
- ฿1.3M (about $40,000) reinvested in communities throughout rural Thailand
- Thousands of acres of agroforestry certified organic under USDA specifications
"Profitability is not sustainable if it comes at the expense of quality or by cutting corners or by paying less to the farmers. We wanted to demonstrate that a company can be successful and do by good by people and the planet,” says Alvarez. “The two are not mutually exclusive concepts. This is just the beginning; we’re excited to do more!”