A food company on a mission

This week’s interview was with Shauna Sadowski, Director of Sustainability at Annie’s Homegrown. It was a terrific conversation about her role, the messaging of organic, engaging consumers, interaction with the farmers, the state of the food and agriculture industry, and much more. 

Annie’s has been around since 1989 and has grown into a company with a very loyal following. It is company led by environmental and social principles, which takes an active role in the organic movement, develops strategic partnerships, while cultivating the future leadership in the sustainable agriculture movement through its scholarship program. 

Annie’s is also a relatively small company so Shauna is tasked with leading the charge for the overall development of its sustainability strategy. The main focus is on the supply chain with the aim of shortening it and creating great connectivity. 

She states, “We have found that 40 percent of our carbon emission impacts take place in farm production and at the raw materials level so we are working with farmers and manufacturers and continuing to educate what these issues are about and how they are responding to them as well as ways we can use our resources.”

In her role, Shauna is also actively engaged in policy leadership particularly as pertains to climate change and GMOs and serves on the Board of Sustainable Food Trade Association.

Annie’s has been really smart with its partnerships. A couple examples in the climate change arena include Climate Counts and BICEP.  Annie’s was recognized by Climate Counts just this fall for its commitment to sustainability and climate leadership.  Annie’s is also a member of BICEP, a project of CERES, whose goal is to work directly with key allies in the business community and with relevant members of Congress to pass meaningful energy and climate change legislation. 

And there’s the partnership with the farmers. Shauna, herself, grew up on a farm so she is particularly interested in these relationships. In fact, it is her goal in the next three to five years to better cultivate these farmer networks as well as to hone in on the organic message to focus on what organic does do which is feed the soil and building resilient ecosystems. A work in progress, to be sure, but Annie’s is certainly in a position to lead that charge.