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Navitas Organics Blog

How We Use Business as a Force for Good and What it Means for You

As B Corp Month and the start of February kick off, we at Navitas thought this would be a great opportunity to discuss our commitment to a movement we wholeheartedly believe in and are proud to be a part of. In the words of Ghandi, we must all seek to “Be the Change that we wish to see in the world” – for if not, what hope is there for future generations? This is the inspiration to our commitment to B Corp.

Conventional business wisdom is often narrow in its focus on profit-driven outcomes, frequently leaving commitments to sustainability and longevity behind. But we believe that considering a long-term, sustainability-based vision of a company can create resiliency and loyalty, while also securing profits for the lifetime of the brand. Being a B Corp certified company is part of how we do this. Our hope is to change that short-sighted mentality by showing firsthand that strong values and a commitment to our stakeholders; customers, employees, partners, environment and society can be profitable and reformative.

So, what does B Corp mean? It means we’re held to standards by an unbiased, third-party entity (B Corp) that holds us accountable for our impacts on social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance our profit with our purpose. At Navitas Organics, that means our commitment to Fairtrade, our commitment to organic and non-GMO products, our partnerships with environmental organizations such as A Growing Culture, our commitments to healthy living and non-profits like Ceres Project and Conscious Kitchen, and last but not least, our amazing Wellness Program for our employees.

We’re in the midst of a cultural change that’s using business as a way to transform the economic engine. Consumers are the ones that play the most important role, as they hold the power to tip the scale and demand business and government accountability. Labels certifications like B Corp and so many others help consumers make the right decisions. “The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth as means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities and the environment.” As leaders in the superfood category, we want to make sure we’re using our business as a beacon for positive change and showing that corporate social responsibility can be achieved while making profits.

We were thrilled when we became B Corp certified two and a half years ago, but it was no easy walk in the park to get there. There were many challenges and lessons learned along the way to getting our assessment completed and approved, but looking back now, we can truly appreciate the level of detail and scrutiny involved in this process, because it helps create a level of transparency and authenticity that consumers and all shareholders can trust.
There’s so much energy out there surrounding this new model of business thinking and we’re inspired by the growing numbers of companies joining the movement. The future is bright and we’re so proud that we can take a hand in shaping a brighter tomorrow.

Not sure if your favorite brand is B Corp Certified? Click here to search the directory.

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Topics: agriculture, blog, health, superfoods, sustainability, healthy living, healthy choices, Navitas Organics, research, B Corp, economy, business

Why Every Day Is World Fair Trade Day at Navitas Organics

Posted by Megan Faletra on May 11, 2018 4:12:00 AM

World Fair Trade Day is an initiative that the World Fair Trade Organization created to help celebrate fair trade practices around the world. Here at Navitas Organics, we are excited to celebrate World Fair Trade Day today and every day, as we continuously work to change the status quo of our global food system by being a part of giving small-scale farmers and workers in developing countries access to safe working conditions and fair wages. We want to be leading voices in supporting a sustainable global food system that supports the health of both people and planet.

What Does Fair Trade Mean?
Fair trade, as the name suggests, is working to make global trade fairer for all people involved. It focuses on improving working conditions, increasing wages for farmers and workers, and making the process of global trade more transparent. Overall, fair trade is working to eliminate child labor and unsafe/unethical working conditions, while improving environmentally friendly production practices.

How Is Fair Trade Different from Organic?
While fair trade and organic have some overlapping values, fair trade focuses more on the ethical treatment, labor, safety and wages of the people creating or growing our consumer goods. Organic, on the other hand, focuses more on the environmental and safety standards surrounding farming practices and the use of potentially harmful chemicals like pesticides.

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Topics: education, farmers, information, agriculture, blog, fairtrade, food, foods, health, healthy, sustainability, trade

Why Farmer Autonomy Matters: Part Two

In part one, I introduced Loren Cardelli, president and co-founder of A Growing Culture (AGC), to provide some background and education on what his amazing organization does to support our farmers. In the conclusion of this interview, I ask some hard-hitting questions about what potential their work has for our food system and how we can make a difference as consumers.

MD: Given that a majority of your work is in rural areas internationally, what challenges do you face in spreading the knowledge about effective farming techniques? How does a farmer in Kenya learn from a farmer in Peru when they’re so disconnected from any form of technology?

LC: That’s one of the reasons why we share information both digitally and analogue. We are building one of the largest networks of participatory agricultural organizations that put farmers first. By doing this, we can reach out to these organizations and they become the arms that extend out of the digital community to the analogue. So, there is a digital connection there, but there’s also face-to-face knowledge sharing that we organize and support. This project isn’t just digitally focused – it’s not a technical solution for low tech, it’s a network and community that uses digital connection as just one of their tools. So, when a farmer in Kenya wants to share a technique with a farmer in Vietnam or Bolivia, that technique is not exactly replicated, but rather, it’s adapted, modified and built upon by the farmers in these other countries. This is the constant evolution of ideas and innovation that we’re trying to create.

MD: Do you see changes, systems or procedures internationally that you think could work for the United States’ food system?

LC: Absolutely. We received funding this past Fall for a project in Vietnam regarding pig farming. It’s an innovation in which the pig farmer creates a living, fermented bedding for the hogs (“living” means that it’s populated by indigenous microorganisms and bacteria that are thriving). It’s not a sterile, bleached environment, but rather a bedding material of carbon materials including rice, husks, wood chips and straw, which is then inoculated and alive. The urine and feces of the pigs are immediately broken down and digested by this community, so there’s no runoff or waste. This technique can be adapted and used even in industrial systems in North Carolina, Iowa, Canada, Switzerland or China, as well as by smallholder systems in Vietnam and other countries worldwide. We’re so excited about the scalability of this specific technique and its application in other areas.

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Topics: education, farmers, information, agriculture, blog, food, foods, health, healthy, sustainability

How We’re Facing Social Injustice Head On

Posted by Loren Cardeli on Feb 20, 2018 2:27:00 AM

Our food system is not broken.
In fact, global food production continues to steadily increase at a rate faster than population growth. We produce 17% more food per person today than we did 30 years ago – enough to feed more than 10 billion people!

Food System Challenges
But, there’s a catch. Food produced is different than food delivered. Although we produce enough food for 10 billion people, a staggering one-third of that food is wasted. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.2 billion people are malnourished and more than 795 million are severely hungry when they don’t need to be. What’s more, a majority of those starving are farmers.

Our current food system exploits the individuals and systems it purports to serve, and the outcome is destabilization on both social and environmental spheres. Neither the smallholder farmer in Peru who grows Cacao nor the chicken farmer under contract in Arkansas has the autonomy they deserve. Instead, our food system is designed to consolidate control of production. Four companies presently control over 75% of the world's grain production, and factory farms account for 72% of poultry production and 55% of pork production.

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Topics: farmers, agriculture, blog, cacao, social, superfoods

Growing Diabetes: Agriculture’s Role in Chronic Disease

Chances are, if you asked a room full of people for a show of hands if they either have Diabetes or have a loved one or friend affected by the disease, the overwhelming majority would raise their arms up high. A recent report from the CDC indicates that 30 million people – nearly 10% of the U.S. population – are living with Diabetes and approximately 24% are undiagnosed but symptomatic. These numbers are mainly indicative of Type 2 or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM), which accounts for nearly 95% of all cases. NIDDM, which results in cellular insulin resistence whereby cells don’t receive necessary glucose needed for energy, can be prevented and often reversed through proper weight management and healthy eating behaviors. In contrast, Type 1 or Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) accounts for only 5% of cases and is a genetic, autoimmune disorder that destroys the cells responsible for producing insulin – the hormone that ushers glucose into the cells for metabolism. The result in both cases is an excess of glucose in the blood stream, compromising the vascular system and inducing an inflammatory state that negatively impacts all major organs, especially the heart. Heart disease is the number one killer for those with Diabetes, which is why early management of the disease is critical.

The main culprit? An excess of simple carbohydrates in the diet.

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Topics: wellness, Diabetes, disease, education, livelifepositive, agriculture, blog, health, healthy

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