Sustainability is a complex concept that is often hard to define.
by Olivia Ramsey
The most used definition of sustainability comes from the Brundtland Report, where it states that sustainability means “to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” In short, sustainability means to leave the world a better place than when you found it. Much emphasis has been put on environmental sustainability, but here at Otis McAllister, we also advocate for social sustainability. We define social sustainability to not only mean caring for our planet, but also the workers that help to bring whole, healthy grains to your door. We make choices that are sensitive to our environment and ethical in the treatment of workers by providing them with a means of healthy living and earning a wage that sustains their family.
The streets of Old Town are always buzzing with excited tourists and locals who hop from restaurant to restaurant, socializing over their favorite dishes. There are also beautiful cathedrals full of rich artistic history all over the city. These are just a few of the reason why the city was named the Culture Capitol of Europe for 2016. The Good Cider is the rich culture of San Sebastian, bottled.
We give back to our supply chain by supporting projects that benefit our products’ country of origin. This is why we partner with like-minded suppliers who exemplify our values.
Together we invest in the strength and health of the communities that are involved in the production of our food.
These alliances have resulted in many projects that aim to improve not only the wellbeing of the communities but also our products, so that we can continue to bring our customers the highest quality rice and grains.
Most recently, we began a project in Peru by partnering with our quinoa supplier, Alisur, and a nonprofit organization we have worked with for many years, VIDA. Through this partnership we are able to utilize the quinoa supply chain to bring medical supplies to remote farming villages in the Andes. It begins with VIDA, who organizes and collects donated medical supplies from major Bay Area hospitals.
Otis McAllister then funds shipments of these supplies to Peru. From the port of Lima, Alisur picks up the supplies in the empty trucks that have just dropped off quinoa to be exported. These trucks make their way up the windy roads that lead to the Andean city of Ayacucho. A group called Emergencia Ayacucho receives the supplies and finds the right home for them. The elderly care home, Hogar de Ancianos Padre Saturnino, was the most recent recipient.
In Thailand we help support a program called, 1 Rai for 100,000 Baht.
This program teaches farmers how to adopt organic farming methods, add diversity to their land through livestock and new plant species as well as to better manage their finances. These practices are not only beneficial to the land by reducing the need to add fertilizers or pesticides, they also help to alleviate extreme poverty in the region through increased harvests of organic products with strong consumer demand. Farmers involved in the program are able to realize a better quality of life by achieving higher profits and reducing debt, also allowing them to spend more time with their families. Most recently, Otis McAllister made a financial contribution to fund another educational center to extend this program to farmers in other provinces.
We have been searching for the best way to communicate our values and efforts related to philanthropy and sustainability in a manner that is recognizable to consumers and also carries merit. Our efforts have brought us to the B Corp Certification, a process that is currently ongoing. “B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” By obtaining B Corp status for the rice and grain division, we will be able to place the certification on our website and packaging and also communicate to our customers across retail, club, foodservice, private label etc., as a way to differentiate ourselves from competition.