INSIDE THESE BAGS
Our products are filled with more than just delicious organic taste. They are also filled with 30+ years of experience, teamwork, innovation and tangible good intentions. Delicious snacks don’t just grow on trees. Well, in some cases, they do. But then the real work begins. We care about the people who help make our products, striving to instill the high standards we believe in for worker comfort, fair wages, working hours, education. . . the list goes on and on. But, honestly, some of this stuff seems, well, pretty common sense. We are 100% committed to doing well, by doing good – for people and the planet.
SUSTAINABLE FARMING. IT’S THRIVING.
We have had the good fortune of growing Made In Nature over the years by introducing more and more North American consumers to the delights of organic dried fruits and vegetables. This has led to increasing demand for our products, which in turn has led to more acreage around the world being converted from conventional agricultural practices to organic, sustainable farming methods. Through our supply partners, we have helped to teach farmers to farm successfully without the use of harmful chemicals, which in turn has led to greater returns to their farms and families.
By creating new products and new markets, we have also been able to help our farming partners withstand difficult crop years, and to commercialize products that they had never previously been selling in the past. For instance, a few years ago Mother Nature wreaked havoc on the annual fig crop, making it difficult for farmers to find a market for figs that were not as beautiful as Made In Nature and our Smyrna fig lovers had come to expect. Rather than abandoning our supply partners until the next crop year, we created a very successful line of energy balls – called Figgy Pops - using fig paste as a primary input. This enabled our supply partners to earn money in a year that might otherwise have been disastrous and gave rise to our classic Figgy Pops!
In other cases, we have been able to create markets for products that have never before been significant sources of revenue at the farm level. For example, we had established a relationship with a world class organic coffee farmer who was drying organic pineapple for Made In Nature. When visiting his organic farm, we noticed that he was using banana trees as a natural source of shade for the organic coffee plantation, but the organic bananas were not being harvested as a source of food. We worked together with this partner to dry the bananas along with a small amount of organic mandarin lemon juice (also growing wild on the farm) to create a delicious dried banana product that was well received by our customers. These crops are now providing our partner with an additional source of income from his farm and has encouraged the planting of more trees and other products.
WE’RE THERE, IRL
Texting, phone calls, video chats. All that is great. But we all know that doesn’t replace being with people in person, seeing things with your own eyes. We actually go see our partners IRL. In addition to having in-country team members in Turkey, members of our team have trekked to the Tibetan Plateau to walk the fields with our goji berry farmers. We’ve been to Tunisia to inspect production facilities for food safety and quality control for our dates. We’re sharing with our fig supply partners in Turkey production best practices that we find amongst them. We’re evaluating our sweet and tangy mangoes in Mexico, and “sampling” them by the handful (purely for quality control, of course).
WHAT ABOUT SAFETY?
We care deeply about health and safety in the workplace - not only for our own employees, but also for workers throughout our supply chain. When we visit the production facilities of our suppliers and walk the fields and orchards where our products are grown, we always have our eyes open for opportunities to make suggestions to increase the safety of workers. For instance, we have encouraged the use of wire-mesh gloves for workers using knives in the production process and found special safety glasses to protect the eyes of people working in dark rooms under ultraviolet lights. We have encouraged the use of rubber safety mats to protect the backs of people who are standing to process fruit. Sustainability in agriculture extends far beyond the land; it touches everyone whose wellbeing depends upon the success of sustainable farming.
You’ll be happy to hear that we have redundancy in our quality control and food safety protocols. Whenever we source from outside North America, in addition to strict procedures “in country,” at the source, we perform a second round of inspections and tests upon the products’ arrival in the United States, including both lab and sensory testing.
YOUR SNACKING PATRONAGE HAS…
…helped to transform conventional farmland around the world into sustainable, organic farms; helped with local economic development; played a role in promoting new factory safety protocols and helping employees and their families further their education; and supported ethically-sourced fair trade chocolate.
We are powered by good intentions. We will always strive to do well by doing good. And thanks to your insatiable and voracious snacking indulgence (no judgment of course), we can all have a positive impact on the people who help make our products and on the farmland that is the source of it all. Thank you!