Last week, Crosby Hop Farm, a vertically integrated hop grower, merchant and processor in the Pacific Northwest, confirmed it was joining more than 1,700 companies globally and 68 organizations in Oregon committed to using business as a force for good. B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, improving the quality of life in our communities through business.
“Certified B Corporations distinguish themselves by committing to higher standards of transparency, accountability and performance, creating a better way of doing business,” said Andy Fyfe of B Lab, the nonprofit behind the B Corp movement. “Crosby Hop Farm joins a bold and growing community of B Corps in the craft beer movement that value not just the beer, but the total impact of beer making. We look forward to being a platform for the leadership of Crosby Hop Farm locally and globally.”
B Corp certification is essentially to sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. To become certified, Crosby Hop Farm had to prove that the company meets stringent performance requirements outlined in the B Impact Assessment, a globally-recognized standard that looks at environmental performance, how a company treats its employees, the impact the company has on its customers and the broader community, as well as the company’s accountability, governanc and transparency practices.
“We are excited to be the first brewing industry raw materials supplier to join fellow craft beer leaders in the pursuit of this very important global movement,” said Blake Crosby, CEO and President, Crosby Hop Farm. “The B Corp impact assessment provides a great framework for planning and continuous improvement across all aspects of our business. Just as it takes many quality ingredients to make a good beer, brewers now have the ability to select hops sourced from a Certified B Corporation.”
The certification is a natural extension of the Crosby Hop Farm company culture. Crosby Hop Farm has many conscientious practices, including its zero waste initiative, biodiversity enhancement and native habitat restoration initiatives, solar project, setting reduction targets for operations and office energy consumption, and providing a generous benefits package for employees including ride sharing and flexible schedule options. More good things in the works include a community garden, an expanded training and professional development program, and increased community and school involvement.
“It’s our responsibility to look beyond just financial performance and commit to the triple bottom line — people, planet and profit,” said Staci Wallace, Crosby Hop Farm Quality and Sustainability Manager. “Drawing from the inspiration and support of the B Corp community, we have a tremendous opportunity to continuously improve our impact on the communities Crosby Hop Farm serves and the land that sustains us.”
Additionally, at the Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia two weeks ago, Crosby Hop Farm supplied hops to Certified B Corps (Benefit Corporations) for a collaborative beer. BREW the CHANGE was crafted together by the group at Beau’s All Natural Brewing last month. These breweries — Aslan, Beau’s, Bison, Brewery Vivant, Bull City, Hopworks, New Belgium, Persephone and Picaroons — all believe that business can be a strong force for good in the world, and they’ve come together to celebrate this shared vision with a delicious beer made with B Corp certified ingredients.
Heather Sorensen is the founder and president of Plugged In PR. As every good story deserves to be told, she helps shape companies’ brands and identifies unique ways that organizations can stand out. She has been working with Crosby Hop Farm since 2013. Fun fact: While she is unrelated, her maiden name is Crosby.