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Cabot Creamery Earns B Corporation Certification
September 7, 2012
Vermont’s Cabot Creamery is the first dairy cooperative to achieve B Corporation Certification. Cabot joins a growing list of cooperatives and national brands that have been certified by the non-profit B Lab, for meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
B Lab, based in Berwyn, Penn., uses its B Impact Assessment to certify B Corps much the same way Fair Trade USA certifies Fair Trade coffee or the U.S. Green Building Council certifies LEED buildings. Other well-known B Corps include King Arthur Flour, Method and Patagonia – all of which were recently named to B Labs’ Best for the World List.
Among the nearly 600 businesses certified as B Corps are a variety of cooperatives including Cooperative Home Care Associates and the National Cooperative Grocers Association. There are currently 29,000 cooperative businesses nationwide spanning most industries, including agriculture, energy, financial service and credit unions, food distribution, healthcare, housing, retail and telecommunications. U.S. cooperatives alone account for more than $3 trillion in assets, over $500 billion in total revenue and $25 billion in wages.
Cabot notes that B Lab’s approach to addressing systemic business challenges goes hand-in-hand with the seven guiding principles of cooperatives: 1) Voluntary and Open Membership, 2) Democratic Member Control, 3) Member Economic Participation, 4) Autonomy and Independence, 5) Education, Training and Information, 6) Cooperation among Cooperatives, and 7) Concern for Community.
The announcement of Cabot’s certification coincides with the updated release of its popular Reward Volunteers app, a collaborative effort to promote community development through volunteerism. The computer widget and free mobile app for iPhone enable individuals and organizations to track the time they spend volunteering in their communities. Volunteers use the app and widget to earn rewards for their volunteer efforts – improving the lives and communities they serve and inspiring friends on Facebook to do the same.
Cabot launched Reward Volunteers 1.0 in February of this year, and volunteers from 46 states logged more than 44,000 hours of service at roughly 800 organizations in just six months. Reward Volunteers 2.0 is now launched and Cabot says it hopes to more than double its effectiveness in the second phase of the program.
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation since 1919 and is owned by 1200 dairy farm families located throughout New England and upstate New York.
@Bart_King is a freelance writer and communications consultant.