Industry: Health & Wellness
Mission: A medicinal herb manufacturer that cultivates health and wellbeing by connecting plants and people. They use organic methods from seed to shelf, and incorporate regenerative farming practices to conserve their surrounding ecosystem. They further pursue sustainability through philanthropy that supports social and environmental impact in the communities where they work.
What 3 words best describe your company culture?
Intentional, Genuine, Collaborative
What quote best exemplifies your company?
“Nature holds many values that can be applied to business – both require regeneration at every level to create a thriving system.” — Angela McElwee, Gaia Herbs
How is your product or service having a positive social and/or environmental impact?
Our purpose as a business is connecting people, plants and planet to create healing. Thus, we consider our impact holistically — including people, planet, communities reached, and even our capital structure. As a Certified B Corporation, we are committed to operating our business as a force for good. We consider not just shareholders in our decision making, but all stakeholders — employees, the communities we source from, and the ecosystems that enable us to do this work. We do this by examining our operations at every level and seeing where we can take action.
As we find ourselves in the second half of what may be the most challenging year many of us have faced in recent memory, and with COVID-19 and racial inequities coming to a head, our sustainability and social impact work have become even more important.
The Gaia Herbs Roots Initiative (Gaia Roots), which was formed in 2018, is the social impact program of Gaia Herbs. This year, we expanded the focus of our social impact work to provide help where it is most needed — giving more access to herbs and herbal supplements. While some people can readily purchase herbs and herbal products, for others this access is much more limited. Recognizing this disparity, this year our Gaia Roots Small Grants Program will be awarding four $5,000 grants to organizations prioritizing projects that expand herbal access in underserved, minority, and economically disadvantaged communities.
Our 2020 work has also included the following projects:
HAND SANITIZER PRODUCTION: When the critical need for hand sanitizer became clear, it was an easy decision to use our expertise and help our local community by manufacturing Certified Organic hand sanitizer. We donated our entire first production run, which included 217 one-gallon bottles and 3,000 two-ounce bottles, to those in our area who are helping others, including health care workers, emergency responders, and farmworkers.
ORGANIC VEGETABLE & HERB DONATIONS: Ten acres of our Certified Organic farm was used to grow produce for employees, food banks, and community organizations this year. To date, we have donated over 16,500 vegetable and medicinal herb starts to organizations including Hunger Coalition of Transylvania County, Bountiful Cities, Eliada Homes, as well as to our own Gaia team members.
HERBAL PRODUCT DONATIONS: We have donated and continue to give Gaia Herbs’ products to support herbal mutual aid projects and community resiliency programs. To date, herbal products have been delivered to organizations including Blue Ridge Healers Without Borders, Bountiful Cities, and the Nap Ministry.
GIVING THANKS WITH NOURISHING FOOD: Our healthcare workers and first responders are on the front lines, keeping our communities safe. To show our appreciation, our culinary team cooked 90 meals for the employees of Pardee Hospital, one of our local hospitals in Western North Carolina.
SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY FOOD BANKS: With the need greater than ever, we have provided approximately 20,000 meals to vulnerable and at-risk populations through our donations to local and national food banks such as Sharing House, Bread of Life, MANNA Foodbank, and Feeding America.
EMPLOYEE VEGETABLE PROGRAM: Earlier this year, Gaia team members volunteered their time to work on the farm planting vegetables for our Wellness program. This opportunity provided employees a deeper connection to Nature while also increasing our vegetable output, enabling us to donate 20,250 pounds of fresh vegetables and herbs to date.
What is your company’s vision for the future?
For over thirty years, Gaia Herbs has been a trusted herbal brand connecting people, plants, and planet to create healing. From our Certified Organic Farm in North Carolina, we use regenerative agriculture practices to grow our herbs with care. We transform Nature’s wisdom into trusted herbal forumlas, combining science and traditional herbal knowledge to create blends rooted in purity, potency, and integrity. We are a leader in sustainable sourcing, sharing complete transparency on all ingredients through meetyourherbs.com, the world’s first herb traceability program. Through this program, customers can take a deeper dive into each herb in our products — learning where it came from; how it was grown, harvested, and extracted. Why? Because people deserve the highest quality, safe, pure, and effective herbal products to support their health and well-being.