As we reflect on our collective steps forward this year, Lara, Grace, and I want to recognize some of the exciting developments and countless partner contributions from the community that helped us make today a reality. OSC2s seven plus year journey with you all has helped us see with greater clarity our role in manifesting the immense capacity of industry leaders through collaborative impact to achieve a healthy regenerative world.
Core and Rising Star CEO Chapters – Our mission of tackling the toughest sustainability problems facing our planet by building new regenerative business models and agricultural systems is rooted in bringing a diversity of perspectives to the table and continuing to push the boundaries of our work together. Our continued application of regenerative business frameworks this year, along with deep member engagement, and the addition of the Justice, Equity, and Diversity, and Inclusion Collaborative are helping to strengthen our relationships with each other and the global ecosystem.
An important shift for us over this year has been to not just come together, but to work together; embracing the true meaning of collaboration. We have reduced the frequency of standard meetings and have launched 5 leadership committees: Surprise & Delight, Internal JEDI, Mentorship, Transportation, and Sales & Marketing.
2019 brought us growth on many fronts, including an amazing crop of new members. This year we welcomed Ted Robb of New Barn Organics, Michelle Kessler of REBBL, Jon Silverman of Grove Collaborative, Matthieu Kohlmeyer of La Tourangelle, and Ned Fussell of Cannacraft, to the Core Group. We also had the pleasure of witnessing a celebratory passing of the torch as the Founders of Alter Eco, Edouard Rollet and Mathieu Senard, handed over the reigns to Mike Forbes, the former GM of California Olive Ranch and long-time OSC2 member.
The Rising Star chapter also blossomed with the additions of Sarah Bird of Bhakti Chai, Eric Quick & Jefferson Sevilla of The Town Kitchen, and Charles Thieriot of Rancho Llano Seco, as well as Tucker Garrison and Philip Richardson of Imlak’esh Organics and Michelle Pusateri of Nana Joes. This incredibly talented crop of emerging leaders finds new ways to support each other through the peaks and valleys of early stage growth together.
Evolution is the Solution – With thoughtful input from each of you, the spectrum of our work spans from self, to company, to OSC2 community, to industry, and beyond. OSC2’s University and Departmental Working Groups serve as valuable platforms for the entire company, not just CEO’s to share and learn. The path ahead for both programs involves reinforcing three distinct legs of support – professional development, functional learning, and inspirational speakers – to support our community’s growth. This year, we covered everything from Mindful Leadership and Powerpoint skills to cracking Amazon advertising and impact reporting.
Partners, Partners, Partners!
None of this would be possible, however, without an active community of leaders and industry partners who, each day, help shape our thinking through thoughtful feedback, guidance, and mentorship. We would like to extend a special thank you to this amazing crew, including:
Working Group Chairs
- Grace Rusch, formerly California Olive Ranch – Marketing
- Maria Emmer Annes, Numi Tea – Marketing
- Jane Franch, Numi Tea – Operations
- Jack Decker, Lotus Foods – Finance
- Victoria Hartman, Lotus Foods – Sales
- Ryan Rich, All Good – Sales
- Margie Araquistain, Numi Tea – Admin/EA
- Pam Zahedani, Nutiva – Admin/EA
- Diane Cowlin, Flourish HR & Prapti Rhani, Nutiva – OSC2 University
- Karen Burns, Scott Anderson, and Jennifer Cantero, Sensiba San Filippo – Rising Stars, Annual Report
- Carlotta Mast, New Hope Network – Climate Collaborative, JEDI Collaborative, Expo West/East
- Peter Piccetti, Heffernan Insurance – Operations Working Group
- Larisa Rapoport & Kevin O’Connell, Squar Milner – Finance Working Group, Expo West, and Lantern Party
- Bill Acevedo and Dick Lyons, Wendel Rosen – Expo West
- Gabriella Selli, Amalgamated Bank – Future of Food
- Tracy Tinclair, Hanson Bridgett – Future of Food
Packaging Collaborative Advisors
- Brett Schaffer & Jean Cloutier, Elk Packaging
- Jake Hebert, Futamara
- Brian Durke, Numi Tea
- Rhodes Yepsen, BPI
- Reyna Bryan, Rainchild Design
JEDI Collaborative Working Group & Fiscal
- MaryAnne Howland, Global Diversity Leadership Exchange
- Ava Holiday & Aparna Rahagopal-Durbin, Avarna
- Vincent Kitirattragarn, Dang Foods
- Sheila Onge, National Co-op Grocers
- Don Buder, Naturally Bay Area and Davis, Wright, Tremaine, LLC
- Karen Burns, Scott Anderson, and Jennifer Cantero, Sensiba San Filippo
- Ahmed Rahim, Numi Tea
- Sheryl O’Loughlin, OSC2
- Sean Conner, Force Brands
- John Foraker, Once Upon a Farm
- Milt Zimmerman, Presence Marketing
Climate Collaborative Leadership
- Erin Callahan, Climate Collaborative
- Caitlin Oleson, Climate Collaborative
- Lisa Spicka, SFTA – Climate Collaborative
- Alyssa Harding, SFTA – Climate Collaborative
Board of Directors
- Ahmed Rahim, Numi Tea
- Neil Blomquist, Sustainable Solutions
- Sheryl O’Loughlin, OSC2
- Edouard Rollet, Pure Planet
- Chris Mann, Guayaki
Future of Food – This year our public event series, Future of Food, expanded its reach with two interactive programs. In August, the OSC2 community gathered for a workshop, leadership panel, and community reception at Crossing the Climate Chasm, featuring Gagan Levy of Guru Media, Tim Schultz of Lundberg Farms, Stephen Mitchell of Good Earth Natural Foods, Lisa Curtis of Kuli Kuli, and Jon Silverman of Grove Collaborative. This was followed by The JEDI Mindset in early November, which featured an electric conversation with Nikki Silvestri of Soil and Shadow, Sheryl O’Loughlin, former CEO of REBBL and co-founder of JEDI Collaborative and Women on Boards Project, as well as Steve Naccarato, CEO of Nutiva.
Packaging Collaborative – OSC2 has commissioned the largest shelf study of emergent renewable and compostable materials across 30 different ingredients. We’re testing everything from American Licorice candies to Happy Family Baby Puffs to Nature’s Path Granola in an effort to develop and scale petroleum free materials. . Exciting as this may be we know innovation is not happening fast enough. And so , as Greta Thunberg says – “If the system is not working, you have to change the system.” To expedite this change, next year, OSC2 will be hosting a systems-level redesign of flexible film with experts across the entire value chain. This year-long summit will include a full spectrum of users, including brands, retailers, waste managers, and NGO experts, with the goal of developing new packaging and delivery ideas into the innovation pipeline. This is an unprecedented initiative, and we are asking all stakeholders to come break silos and partner up in an effort raise our collective game and take one step closer to solving this global epidemic. The response thus far has been encouraging. 50 of our 60 spots for this never-been-done before Packaging Redesign are already filled, but we need your support and participation to close the gap. Contact [email protected] if you would like to get involved in this project and our OSC2 Packaging Collaborative for 2020.
Climate Collaborative – The 3rd annual Climate Day was our biggest ever, with over 900 attendees. The program featured Patagonia Founder/CEO Yvon Chouinard, Tom Chi formerly of Google X, and our own OSC2 climate warriors, Sheryl O’Loughlin, Ahmed Rahim, Caryl Levine, Ryan Black, Chris Mann, and so many others who are raising our collective climate strategy. In 2020 we are slated to cross the 500 company and 2500 commitment thresholds. But to do this we need your help spreading the Climate Collaborative story to a broader audience. Find us on Twitter @climatecollaborative and share the news out with your own extended community. Also, don’t forget to submit your Climate Day Innovation Pitch by Dec. 31. Find out how more here.
JEDI Collaborative – And last but certainly not least, the JEDI Collaborative is born! Our goals include building natural products industry leadership/workforce that better reflects the US population and is equitable and inclusive of people with marginalized identities. It’s without a doubt ambitious; by 2025, we intend to have generate 2025 JEDI commitments and report a measurable and meaningful shift in diversity for our industry. To support these early efforts, please take our industry benchmarking survey by Dec. 31. We have over 200 responses and only need 50 more! We are so grateful to our 8 pilot companies doing this rich and important JEDI work to raise their game and support the strength of this project. Thank you Kuli Kuli, Alter Eco, Guayaki, REBBL, Nutiva, Dr. Bronner’s, La Tourangelle, and New Hope!!
Looking ahead – So what’s in store for 2019? So much! To give you a preview, we will be building on the work above by engaging in 3 additional focus areas:
- Deepening our Member Collaboration to support each company’s individual growth as well as our collective work with the launch of 5 leadership committees.
- Expanding our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion pilot company work for additional OSC2 companies; our industry has been pivotal drivers of innovation and many important sustainable food and agricultural movements; together we are becoming leaders in addressing packaging and climate. The JEDI Collaborative is critical for this whole living ecosystem to work.
- Charting the next generation of packaging – We will have learnings and results of our extensive shelf studies and design innovation projects in 2020 to further inform our collective push to scale petroleum free packaging.
- Strengthen our Regenerative Leadership Muscle. OSC2 along with Numi, Guayaki and REBBL started working with Carol Sanford on a three-year regenerative leadership program.
Our gratitude to you all and the community we nurture as we evolve our capacity for impact and change.
Lara, Michael, and Grace