Building a Better Business: Announcing B Corp Certification
April 09, 2014 // by Allison Hooper
For thirty years we have kept our heads down, just barely eeking out the cash and margin to keep it all together: first creating a business, then sustaining a business, and finally building a brand. All along, everything from our message, belief in our products and our way of doing business came naturally. Bob and I always believed that doing the right thing was the best thing.
Over the course of three decades we did the best we could as a business with many masters. In the early days when every dollar felt like our last we lamented that our employee benefits were good, not great. There were times when we just couldn’t pay our farmer suppliers more even though they were hurting. We couldn’t support our favorite non-profits who were doing great work in the community. But, we knew that we had to promise our employees that if they worked hard their lives would improve. We had to service our customers as it they were our last or they wouldn’t have stuck with us when we needed them. We didn’t brag about saving the world. We just did the work. With heart, we built a culture of doing better and doing right.
Our Vermont Creamery terroir is this: people who care about what they do, who are committed to do their best, with respect and integrity. Even without a formal declaration of mission and goals it felt like we were inherently part of the B Corp community. Last December we took a chance on the B Corp assessment and we came out on top. All of those years we must have been doing something right.
I couldn’t be more proud that Vermont Creamery has earned B Corp Certification. Once people experience good results from good work, they naturally want to do more. B Corp Certification encourages continuous improvement where doing good is not good enough. There is always more to do. At the creamery and at Ayers Brook Goat Dairy we have nothing but opportunities to be better and promote positive change in our communities.
At a time when we mentor the next generation of managers to make good decisions, we take solace in knowing that the B Corp certification is the gatekeeper for our mission. Doing better commits the staff to push the envelope and not settle for last year’s accomplishments. Doing good costs money too. Investing annually to reduce carbon, add employee benefits and support the community is the greatest form of public policy. Measuring what matters requires that the team look beyond profit as the sole indicator of our company’s health. By demonstrating that we can be profitable and invest in “what matters”, Bob and I are assured of a legacy of the values on which the business was built. We want to know that our grandchildren will be proud of Vermont Creamery.
Learn more about our mission and B Corp Certification here.