SFA Member Companies Make B Lab’s Best For the World List

Julie Gallagher | 27 Jul 2021

Specialty Food Association member companies Rumi Spice, Bi-Rite Market, King Arthur Baking Co., Seal the Seasons, Greyston Bakery, KeHe Distributors, and Divine Chocolate Ltd., are among the 5 percent of B Corps named to the Best For the World list by B Lab, which certifies B Corps.

These B Corps were scored in five impact areas including community, customers, environment, governance, and workers, and are among the global top five percent in their company size group, according to B Lab.

Rumi Spice, Bi-Rite Market, Seal the Seasons, Greyston Bakery, and Divine Chocolate Ltd. are recognized for their community impact, and are “top performers in contributing to the economic and social well-being of the communities in which they operate,” according to B Lab. “Through their exemplary practices and policies directed at community impact, they’re building a shared and sustainable prosperity for all. Their mission-driven cultures embrace supplier relations, social engagement, charitable giving, and strong, diverse communities.”

Rumi Spice is the largest private contractor of women in Afghanistan, having provided employment to more than 4,000 women involved in the hand-harvested production process throughout the country. These direct wages of 15 to 20 percent more than other jobs help uplift their families and local communities, according to the company.

“It is an honor for Rumi Spice to be named Best For The World by B Lab,” said Patti Doyle, CEO of Rumi Spice. “Mission and purpose guide all of Rumi Spice’s work and we are proud to support the Afghan economy and community, especially the farmers and women who work with our spices.”

San Francisco-based Bi-Rite Market was originally certified as a B Corp. in 2015 and was also recognized as a Best For the World company in 2018 and 2019.

“We’re excited to be among the top 5 percent of Certified B Corporations worldwide recognized for our community impact,” Sam Mogannam, founding partner at Bi-Rite Family of Businesses, told SFA News Daily. “Given our mission of Creating Community Through Food, being recognized in this impact area is especially meaningful to us, as it focuses on important topics like diversity, equity, and inclusion, local economic development, supply chain management, and poverty alleviation, social engagement, and charitable giving. We’re so grateful to our staff for their commitment, resilience, and love, all of which makes our community impact possible and meaningful.”

Seal the Seasons freezes local family farm produce in-season, and makes it available every season of the year.

“Being acknowledged as a Best For the World B Corp is validation for the work and dedication our local family farm and community partners have given us since we started Seal the Seasons at the Carrboro Farmers Market,” said Alejandro Piasecki, co-founder and COO of Seal the Seasons. “Sourcing the best of your community’s fruits to create a farmers’ market in everyone’s freezer is not easy work. But we firmly believe in doing it the hard way because it is the right way to do things.”

Yonkers, New York-based Greyston Bakery, which has an open hiring policy free of background checks, resumes, and interviews, only requires that employees have a desire to work.

“It’s always nice to be recognized as the ‘best’ in something,” said Joe Kenner, president and CEO of Greyston Bakery. “We consider our bakery the best in many categories besides the obvious one, making delicious brownies. That B Lab awarded our efforts in the community and with regard to how we treat and support our employees is very gratifying.”

King Arthur Baking Co. and KeHe Distributors made B Lab’s worker impact list. “Their best practices in work environment aspects like compensation, benefits, training and ownership opportunities, as well as assessing working communication, job flexibility, and worker health and safety practices, not only contribute to better conditions for their employees, but also mark the pace and set an example to follow,” according to B Lab.

King Arthur Baking Co., which became a founding B Corp member in 2007, is honored to be recognized for its impact on workers, said Ralph Carlton, company co-CEO.

“We are a values-driven, employee-owned company, which lends itself to a culture of high engagement and open communication,” he said. “This is the secret sauce that makes us a successful business, and a great place to work. Being 100 percent employee-owned means each person working here has a real stake in the company’s success. Each employee’s contributions ensure that we are producing the best baking products and content available and keeps the company accountable for its practices. I’m proud of the way our employee-owners work together every day, striving towards the shared goal to inspire and share the joy of baking.” 

Related: The Spice Lab Expands Production FacilityMaker Q&A: Standout Certifications.

Image: B Lab