By vast

Published: June 2, 2020

Category: Organic News, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter

Iowa-based Frontier Co-op, manufacturer of organic, sustainably sourced herbs and spices, was already seeing 5% annual growth—but the last two months, with emergence of coronavirus, saw sales jump 60% as people began cooking at home.

For Tony Bedard, CEO of the $200 million business including the Frontier Co-op, Simply Organic, and Aura Cacia brands, it’s been an opportunity to deploy his people-centered management style full on.

“We made a lot of changes, from giving employees two weeks paid time off [if needed], to keeping our on-site childcare facility open… to separating shifts [for distancing],” he said. “I told my staff, if you don’t feel comfortable, we will figure out something else for you to do.” 

Executives are being asked to step up amid shifting health policy guidelines and rapidly changing data. Bedard shows up every day at 7:30 am to unload pallets with the team.

“To see our CEO working side-by-side with us every day means a lot to me and the other employees,” said Elizabeth Busch, production team lead.

“It all goes back to our ability to pivot,” Bedard added. The co-op model’s size and robust, personal supply chain relationships are reaping dividends—enabling secure sourcing of needed items. Member-owned co-ops allow more freedom in decision making, without pressure from investors for quick returns.

Frontier has donated 50% of profits from its hand sanitizer to communities in need. The “business for good” philosophy is proving itself a timely asset.

Source: Forbes

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