An OSC² Natural Products Industry Collaborative

“Imagine what we as the natural products industry (and, really, we as humans) could create if every person regardless of background, race, gender, faith or experience felt welcome and invited to participate and that their contributions were important and vital. Imagine the problems we could erase, the innovations we could birth, the opportunities we could seed, and the connections we could nurture. Justice, equity, diversity and inclusion work makes this possible.”

– Carlotta Mast
Senior Vice President of Content and Market Leader
New Hope Network, Informa Health & Nutrition

“As an entrepreneur, I must strive to create the world I want to live in. There’s nothing more important than creating a just, fair, and equitable society, and the natural food industry has the unique opportunity to lead the way in making this a reality.”

– Vincent Kitirattragarn,
Founder and CEO, Dang Foods

Our Audacious Vision

We envision a natural products industry that centers at its core justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion to ensure that:
  • all people feel welcome in the natural products industry by being able to participate in and feel justly treated
  • communities that support the industry thrive
  • employees feel inspired and valued
  • innovation is sparked by a diversity of identities and perspectives, which leads to growth and profitability
  • voices of marginalized communities are amplified in all conversations and decisions
  • products are accessible to those who most need them
  • we understand how social and environmental justice are interconnected and work to address both
  • companies serve as role models as a force for good in the world

The JEDI Collaborative

What is JEDI?

JUSTICE is dismantling barriers to resources and opportunities in society so that all individuals and communities can live a full and dignified life. These barriers are essentially the “isms” in society: racism, classism, sexism, etc.

EQUITY is allocating resources to ensure everyone has access to the same opportunities. Equity recognizes that advantages and barriers—the ‘isms’—exist. Equity is the approach and equality is the outcome.

DIVERSITY is all the differences between us based on which we experience advantages or encounter barriers to opportunities. Diversity isn’t just about racial differences; it includes gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, class, size, ability and more.

INCLUSION is fostering a sense of belonging by centering, valuing, and amplifying the voices, perspectives and styles of those who experience more barriers based on their identities.

“REBBL was founded by a not for profit, Not for Sale, to co-create a future without human trafficking. To do that, we work at the nexus of social and environmental justice and advancing equity, diversity and inclusion is crucial to accomplish this complex and urgent effort. A diversity of perspectives is essential for business innovation and growth, as well as building a just and regenerative economy.”

– Sheryl OLoughlin,
Former CEO of REBBL and Clif Bar and co-founder of Plum

The OSC² JEDI Collaborative of industry peers and experts is leading this project for the natural products industry to frame the business case for embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion into our entire food ecosystem. Our intent is to take a positive, forward look vs. “fix what’s broken” position. We seek to understand the deeper issues and to devise an outline for the best solutions. We will clarify the systemic issues that require courage and thought leadership and define immediately controllable issues we all can address as an industry and in our day-to-day operations. We will develop a step-by-step approach to serve as a model to facilitate and inspire the industry to commit and take action. We will develop a reporting tool to demonstrate the impact of the project on progress. We believe the benchmark reporting will result in an increase in productivity in an increasingly multicultural marketplace.

Why JEDI?

As an industry of innovators and leaders in our food and agricultural systems, we have a vital business challenge facing us – a lack of diversity of human ingenuity, perspective and talent.  Unless we work to overcome it, we will not be able to forge breakthroughs into new systems, products and services to best meet the demands of our customers in an increasingly multicultural America.  With an industry-wide commitment to justice, diversity, equity and inclusion (JEDI), we can and will attract the best people, the best ideas, and the best way forward toward a more just and prosperous future for all.

Goals

  • Our natural products industry leadership and workforce better reflects the US population and is equitable and inclusive of people with marginalized identities
  • Our industry is accountable for a truly equitable and just culture where those who have been marginalized are centered in the industry
  • Our industry is inclusive of a broader range of companies and organizations
  • Companies within the industry influence their partners and their customers to embrace JEDI values and practices
  • The natural products industry becomes the JEDI model for every industry
  • By 2025, natural product companies have made 2,025 Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion commitments.

Specific commitments may include:

Executive Leadership and Company Boards: A measurable increase in ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, age, class and religious diversity

Unconscious Bias Trainings: Industry-wide integration of unconscious bias training programs that result in an inclusive culture that attracts and retains a more racially and gender diverse workforce

Industry Commitment: Address environmental, social, and food injustices through a measurable increase of industry-wide conversations and collaborations at our national Expos and other related events

New Hires: A significant increase in gender and racial diversity of new hires within the industry and this increase is maintained at a high level over time

Food Access:  A measurable increase in the accessibility of natural products to our diverse consumer marketplace in terms of affordability, distribution and cultural relevance

Supply Chain: Support and prioritize women and minority-owned and women-and minority led organizations in our supply chains, particularly in developing economies

How Can I Get Involved?

Check back after Expo West 2020 for webinars and other tools in the Resources section below to help move your own JEDI efforts forward. We will begin logging industry-wide JEDI commitments at this time as well. Also…

ACT NOW!

Please take 10 minutes to complete our Industry Benchmarking Survey prepared by New Hope.

We’re at 34% of our goal – 170/500. Help us reach our goal!

Click here to take the survey

SAVE THE DATE

CEOs and Culture Leaders: 2020 Influencer Summit at Expo West 2020

“There are many proof points demonstrating that more diverse teams not only drive better decisions, but more profits, more growth and significantly more innovation revenue.   A more diverse natural products industry is vital to solving food and agricultural system challenges we all face and work hard to address every day.”

– Lara Dickinson,
Executive Director and Co-Founder OSC² and Co-Founder Climate Collaborative

Work

Unpacking and healing biases presents an exciting opportunity to rewrite the story of our industry, how we do business, who gets funded and how, what growth looks like, and what success looks like.

Our launch of the JEDI Collaborative in 2019 initiated a one-year engagement with Avarna Group who contributes to the Collaborative by providing content, frameworks, tools, and resources for inclusive workforce development and community engagement.

They are working with eight pilot companies to help each craft a JEDI Commitment that is meaningful and actionable. Those companies include: Nutiva, Rebbl, Guayaki, Kuli Kuli, Alter Eco, La Tourangelle, Dr. Bronner’s and New Hope.

At the end of their engagement, we hope to have fueled an important conversation, providing tools and resources to take action, and ignite positive change in the industry.

JEDI Commitments in our three focus areas:

CULTURE

We commit to fostering a JEDI CULTURE where those who have been marginalized are centered in the industry, lifted up, heard, and part of decision making.

CONSUMER

We commit to reaching a broader CONSUMER base through innovations in product development, branding and marketing, and accessibility

COMMUNITIES

We commit to helping COMMUNITIES who are the backbone of our industry thrive.

Community Action

TIMELINE
 2019 – Launch five company pilots and conduct an industry benchmarking study, and announce JEDI Collaborative Commitment areas 

2020Launch ten additional company pilots; host Industry Influencer Summit at Expo West; begin taking JEDI commitments from the industry, and develop online resources to support JEDI Collaborative work

2021 –  Industry-wide launch of the JEDI Collaborative. 100% of OSC2 companies are working on JEDI commitments. 

2025 – Natural products companies have made 2,025 JEDI commitments

203010,000 JEDI commitments made by natural products industry

EVENTS

Collaborative Leadership

JEDI TEAM

 

CO-FOUNDERS
Lara Dickinson

Lara Dickinson

Cofounder & Executive Director

OSC²

Read bio

Sheryl O'Loughlin

Sheryl O'Loughlin

Co-founder JEDI Collaborative and Women on Boards Project, and Former CEO

REBBL

Read bio

COMMUNICATIONS
MaryAnne Howland

MaryAnne Howland

Founder & CEO

Global Diversity Leadership Exchange and ASBC Board Member

Read bio

Grace Rusch

Grace Rusch

Project & Communications Lead

OSC²

Read bio

Strategy and Pilot Company Consulting
Ava Holliday

Ava Holliday

Founding Partner

Avarna

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Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin

Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin

Founding Partner

Avarna

Read bio

JEDI Working Group

 

Vincent Kitirattragarn

Vincent Kitirattragarn

Founder & CEO

Dang Foods

Read bio

Ahmed Rahim

Ahmed Rahim

Co-Founder OSC²; CEO & Master Tea Blender, Numi Organic Tea

Numi Tea

Read bio

Sheila Onge

Sheila Onge

Sustainability Manager

National Co-op Grocers

Read bio

Carlotta Mast

Carlotta Mast

SVP Content & Insights

Hew Hope Network

Read bio

JEDI Advisors

 

Chris Mann

Chris Mann

Chairman of Gourd

Guayaki Yerba Mate

Read bio

Cassie Nielsen

Cassie Nielsen

VP of Talent

VMG Partners

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Steve Naccarato

Steve Naccarato

CEO

Nutiva

Read bio

Lisa Curtis

Lisa Curtis

Cofounder & CEO

Kuli Kuli

Read bio

John Foraker

John Foraker

Cofounder & CEO

Once Upon A Farm

Read bio

Amos Marvel

Amos Marvel

VP People Operations

Thrive Market

Read bio

Sean Conner

Sean Conner

Cofounder & Chief Progress Officer

Force Brands

Read bio

Caleb Zigas

Caleb Zigas

Executive Director

La Cocina

Read bio

MaryAnne Howland

MaryAnne Howland

Founder & CEO

Global Diversity Leadership Exchange and ASBC Board Member

Read bio

GW Chew

GW Chew

Founder & CEO

Something Better Foods

Read bio

Magatte Wade

Magatte Wade

Founder & CEO

Skin is Skin

Read bio

Sharon Miller

Sharon Miller

Founder & CEO

Skin is Skin

Read bio

Arielle Moinester

Arielle Moinester

Program Director

Women’s Earth Alliance

Read bio

Gretchen Grani

Gretchen Grani

Regeneration & Sustainability Cebadora

Guayaki Yerba Mate

Read bio

Resources

Recommended JEDI
Service Providers

Companies who want to engage in JEDI work may have different points of entry depending upon their level of sophistication in various stages of practice, policy, marketing and communications in a multicultural marketplace. Whether you are new to the work, advanced, or somewhere in the middle, at any given point you may need additional services beyond the important early steps of defining your JEDI commitment and beginning diversity training. Here are members, supporters and partners of OSC² who are available to provide you with additional support services:

American Sustainable Business Council
Inclusive economy advocacy
asbcouncil.org

Avarna Group
Diversity training
theavarnagroup.com

B Lab
Tools and resources to build an inclusive economy
bcorporation.net

Davis Wright Tremaine
Anti-discrimination policy
dwt.com

Force Brands
Recruiting advisors for consumer brands
forcebrands.com

Ibis Communications
Inclusive branding, marketing and communications
ibiscommunications.com

Sensiba San Filippo
Certified B-Corp accounting and business advisement
ssfllp.com

Women on Boards Project
On a mission to increase the number of women on boards
wobproject.com

 

PROGRESSIVE LANGUAGE GUIDE

Language is imperfect and ever evolving, and there is no single guidebook on inclusive language. That said, we’ve found this guide helpful in providing us with some frameworks such as using person first language when referring to people with disabilities. Don’t think of this as prescriptive; some folks within different marginalized communities disagree on some of the suggestions within it. Just think of it as a guide, and ultimately, take a cue from the person or people you’re referencing to determine how they identify.

A Progressive’s Style Guide by Sum of Us

Recommended Reading/Viewing

BUSINESS INSIGHTS

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Non-Fiction Books

Fiction Books

Other

The Power of JEDI

THE PATH FORWARD TO SYSTEMIC CHANGE

In a multicultural America, justice, equity, diversity and inclusion are vital in every industry sector for a sustainable economy that ensures economic growth, healthy communities and general well-being for all the natural products industry has a central role in the future of one of the most vital elements of our economy: food, a basic life necessity. America, and the world, is sorely in need of innovative solutions, business practices, and policy agenda that provides equal access to healthy living, quality high-paying jobs and careers, inspires our next generation of leaders, and becomes the 401K for America’s future. Fortunately, our biggest challenge to an economy of abundance and

prosperity for all – a lack of diversity of human ingenuity, perspective and talent – can be overcome. It will take a focused, intentional and persistent pursuit of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI). The natural products industry has long been a leader in driving food and healthy lifestyle trends. Yet, we will only continue to drive innovation and growth if we shift traditional, outdated business practices to welcoming and engaging the gifts of those who have been marginalized in concert with those of the majority. At every level of business, the diversity of ideas and solutions create power. This is not a zero-sum game, it is to the benefit of all of us.

The Power of JEDI

THE PATH FORWARD
TO SYSTEMIC CHANGE

The infrastructure of our US economy is built on the intersection of food, water, healthcare, education, finance, transportation, housing, accessibility, and democracy. In a multicultural America, justice, equity, diversity and inclusion are vital in every industry sector for a sustainable economy that ensures economic growth, healthy communities and general well-being for all. For our part, the natural products industry has a central role in the future of one of the most vital elements of our economy: food, a basic life necessity. Food is a life or death issue, on which we could and should have considerable positive impact. The truth is people are starving. Malnutrition is causing disease. The disparity between the Haves and Have Nots is growing. Communities are suffering. This is not sustainable. America, and the world, is sorely in need of the kind of innovative solutions, business practices, and policy agenda that provides equal access to healthy living, sows seeds to yield a harvest of quality high-paying jobs and careers, inspires our next generation of leaders, and becomes the 401K for America’s future — all that we are poised to best provide. People are relying upon us. It starts with each one of us, and it takes all of us working together.

Fortunately, our biggest challenge to an economy of abundance and prosperity for all is one that we can overcome if we are focused, intentional and persistent in the pursuit of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI). Currently, the natural products industry does not reflect the current makeup of the American populace that is becoming increasingly diverse year over year. In fact, according to the US Census, by 2035, the majority of people served by the food industry will be people of color. Despite the changing market drivers – consumers and workers – the industry continues to reflect the power structure that risks hindering the kind of innovation and growth that will secure a sustainable future for business, our planet, and all people. The natural products industry has long been a leader in driving food and healthy lifestyle trends. Yet, we will only continue to drive innovation and growth if we shift traditional, outdated business practices to welcoming and engaging the gifts of those who have been marginalized in concert with those of the majority. At every level of business, the diversity of ideas and solutions create power. This is not a zero-sum game, it is to the benefit of all of us.

Our Industry Impact

“I envision a thriving planet that lives in harmony with one another, and is reflective of the natural world around us, filled with diversity and justice. No matter what race, gender and faith, we rise to embrace and support one another, a co-existence that is beautiful to witness and inspires us to believe in healthy practices for all living systems.

 
– Ahmed Rahim,
Founder & CEO of Numi Tea, and Co-Founder of OSC²

The natural products industry is uniquely compelled to lead in JEDI efforts, the kind that lead to the systemic change we need for a vibrant regenerative economy. OSC² and our partners understand that the triple bottom line of people, planet, profit is purpose-driven: to do good business, and to treat others and our planet with dignity and respect. Each area of focus has its own implications for responsibility, behavior, accountability, and return on investment to secure a future that is prosperous for all. The “whys” of this work is the business imperative for a fresh new industry-wide approach.

PROFIT: Innovation and the Bottom Line

Years of accredited research from fact tanks, business leadership institutions, and economy statisticians show that diversity (especially ethnic and gender) — within leadership, your board, employees, and customers — actually improves innovation, market share, revenue streams, productivity, employee retention/engagement, and ultimately your profit.

Many of the communities we work with and source from at home and abroad are ethnically and culturally different from the demographic make-up of companies in our industry. If companies work to diversify their employee base to better reflect these communities, they can build stronger relationships with their supply chain that employs local workers and gives back to the communities where they live, work and thrive.

PLANET: Our Future

Global warming hurts the most vulnerable communities hardest. Farmers represent 80% and women are 70% of people living in poverty. The health of our planet is tethered to engaging, listening to, and learning from a diversity of communities engaged in and impacted by sustainable and regenerative natural product production. Incorporating the knowledge and perspectives of diverse communities in business and in public policy contributes to a more robust and powerful movement to address the most pressing environmental crises, including climate change.

PEOPLE: Saving Lives and Building Healthier Communities

Socioeconomic, geographic, and cultural barriers prevent people with marginalized identities from accessing healthy products, and in particular, food. Because food is central to social factors including health, education, and livelihoods, the food industry has the power to create true social change. We have a responsibility to make natural products more accessible. We know that healthy and culturally relevant food reduces rates of chronic illness, and has positive outcomes on educational performance, and helps communities thrive.

At Nutiva, we believe that inclusion is a state of being valued, respected and supported and we’re proud to focus on the needs of every member of our extensive community – from our staff, to our farmers & processors – to ensure we don’t disregard or ignore differences, but promote individual awareness for fair practices.  We strive to embed these key beliefs at every level of our company to ensure that we remain committed to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

 
– Steven Naccarato,
CEO of Nutiva

JEDI Is A Business Imperative

Empirical data, academic white papers, global market economists, and most of the Fortune 500 companies have proven that diversity and inclusion is good for business. Research conducted by Boston Consulting Group reveals that in 14 countries, 96-98% of large companies (above 1,000 employees) have diversity programs. The United Nations Global Compact has more than 13,500 companies worldwide who have committed to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that include gender equality, reduced inequalities, and peace and justice strong institutions, of its 17 global goals. The SEC has stepped up its stringency on requirements for diversity reporting in corporate filings.
Companies have embraced that it’s the way of the world. Shareholders demand the strong performance that comes from innovation, top talent, workforce retention, supply chain management, and market share.

Younger workers demand accountability. Millennials (Gen Y-Z), are expected to be 30% of the workforce by 2020. They tend to be more “woke” and prefer the dynamic of multiculturalism. It’s all they have ever known in the global zeitgeist of “everythingism”. Attracting and retaining a workforce for the future requires a deep dive into our systems and practices in how we do business. There are three all-important drivers for an effective JEDI organization: anti-discrimination policies, removing bias from evaluation and promotion, and multi-level diversity training. The latter is where we begin with our work with the OSC² JEDI Collaborative based on a set of goals to transform our own industry and create a model to inspire others.

Sponsors

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE JEDI COLLABORATIVE or TO BECOME A SPONSOR, CONTACT: [email protected]

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