Sustainable Food Trade Association Celebrates 10 Years

July 10th 2018

Since July 2008, the Sustainable Food Trade Association (SFTA) has assisted organic companies in building their capacity to become sustainable business models.

As companies strive to implement sustainable business practices to complement the organic products they offer, they often find they need the best contacts, resources, and tools to bring about change. SFTA has been providing that, and more, for the last 10 years.

“SFTA was launched from a spirit of both vision and practicality, we recognized organic as a strong foundation for sustainability, but felt an urgent sense that more was needed to continue to address the challenges of our times — climate change, waste, resource conservation and fair labor standards. Over the course of 10 years, I am immensely impressed with what has been achieved. Dozens of companies have joined in the effort, yielding millions investment dollars in sustainability innovation creating real impact. Membership in SFTA sets leading companies apart,” stated Natalie Reitman-White, catalyst and founder of SFTA, and Senior Director of Organizational Vitality & Sustainability at Organically Grown Company.

Notable names in the organic sector that were among the inaugural members and remain current SFTA members: Brands and distributors – Viva Tierra, GloryBee, Hummingbird Wholesale, Nature’s Path Foods, Organic Valley, UNFI, Amy’s Kitchen, Organically Grown Company, Mountain Rose Herbs, Heath & Lejeune, Organics Unlimited; Retailers – Ashland Food Cooperative and PCC Community Markets; and Partner organizations – Oregon Tilth and NCG (National Co+op Grocers).

SFTA members have experienced significant reduction in their environmental and social impact through the sustainability resources provided for companies to define, measure, and improve their performance year after year. Annually, a Member Sustainability Progress Report is released that compiles the data from SFTA member reports to demonstrate their collective impact.

Melody Meyer, founding board member representing UNFI, commented, “When we sat down in 2008 with the idea of building sustainable business models for the organic industry, we had no idea how impactful our ideas would become. Over the last 10 years many like-minded businesses have come together to learn from each other and share best practices truly improving their sustainable business practices. Completing the annual impact report each year and sharing our results was a powerful feedback tool that helped us broaden our impact at UNFI. I look forward to what SFTA member businesses can achieve in the next 10 years!”

SFTA publishes quarterly case studies on best practices, metrics tracking, and reporting practices that highlight the efforts of individual members and their successes. In addition, SFTA produces a webinar series that focuses on industry specific topics such as leveraging sustainability efforts to build brands. In 2017, SFTA and OSC2 partnered to launch a joint project, The Climate Collaborative which now has over 260 companies that have made 1,000 public commitments to take action to reverse climate change.

Reflecting on the achievements in the past decade, SFTA Board President and Sustainability, Research & Grant Manager at Organic Valley, Jonathan Reinbold said, “The founders’ vision was prescient as sustainability is now broadly recognized as a business imperative with rising consumer expectations for authentic social and environmental commitments. SFTA has kept its members on the leading edge to quantify, understand and communicate their social and environmental impacts and has helped raise the bar throughout the industry. SFTA’s role as a technical-assistance provider and capacity builder is as needed today as it was ten years ago.”

Learn more about SFTA and become a member today HERE! (Provender Members save on new SFTA memberships)

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About the Sustainable Food Trade Association:
The Sustainable Food Trade Association (SFTA) mission is to build the capacity of the organic products trade to transition to sustainable business models. SFTA serves as a hub for businesses to learn, improve performance, communicate results, and share common metrics and best practices.