WASHINGTON, D.C.— June 9, 2016 —Three small businesses in New York, Massachusetts and Ohio offering organic products were announced today as the winners of Green America’s quarterly “People & Planet Award.” The three winners of the $5,000 prizes are: Fruition Seeds of Canandaigua, NY; Neptune's Harvest of Gloucester, MA; and Village Bakery & Café of Athens, OH. The three winners were selected by the public during a month-long online voting period.
The quarterly People & Planet Award recognizes innovative U.S. small businesses that integrate environmental and social considerations into their strategies and operations.
Fran Teplitz, Green America’s executive co-director, said: “Organic small businesses play an increasingly important role as more and more consumers seek food and other products that have not been spoiled by GMOs and pesticides. Organic companies keep real consumer choice alive and often play a central role in supporting their local communities. The companies that won the awards really exemplify what the spirit of ‘Green America’ is all about.”
The winning companies are:
- Fruition Seeds, Canandaigua, NY. Fruition Seeds grows more than 300 varieties of certified organic, non-GMO seeds regionally adapted to thrive in short Northeast U.S. seasons. Fruition has also been invited to adapt their model of collaboration for a seed-saving project in the Dominican Republic. They will be using part of the People & Planet Award prize money to expand their library of how-to videos for seed savers in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic.
- Neptune's Harvest, Gloucester, MA. Neptune’s Harvest produces 100 percent organic fertilizer from the “waste” of its parent company, Ocean Crest Seafood. With part of the People & Planet winnings, Neptune's Harvest will be enhancing their raised beds project at their home office, where they test their organic products and share the resulting produce with the community.
- Village Bakery & Cafe, Athens, OH. Village Bakery & Cafe supports farms in the foothills of Appalachian Ohio by nourishing its neighbors and inspiring a culture of interdependence. Its progress is measured by how much they can “invest” purchasing power in organic, fair trade, and renewable systems, and how little they can contribute to destructive systems.
Petra Paige-Mann, co-founder of Fruition Seeds, said: “This award will allow Fruition to expand our work in the Dominican Republic, increasing access to regionally adapted organic, non-GMO seeds. We share our passion for seed and organics through on-farm consultations, workshops, conferences, and digital media, each of which will be enhanced as a result of the award. Not all organic seeds are created equal: in the same way that supermarket (industrial) organic produce is fundamentally different from your local farmer's market (artisan) produce, there is industrial-organic as well as artisan-organic seed. More than half the world's seeds are owned or sold by one of three multinational chemical corporations as part of their ‘diversified portfolios.’ Fruition Seeds is proud to offer an alternative.”
Ann Molloy, director of sales and marketing for Neptune’s Harvest, said: “On behalf of all of us at Neptune’s Harvest Fertilizer, we’d like to thank Green America. We will put the prize money towards promoting organic agriculture, specifically through the expansion of our organic raised bed garden project. We use the raised beds to test new products, and to show off what can be accomplished without the use of chemicals.”
Christine Hughes, co-owner of the Village Café & Bakery, said: "We are so thrilled to accept this award, as it will shine a light on the organic producers we depend on, in our local community and beyond. They are the foundation of our green economy. We will use our winnings immediately to bring in our next pallet of organic olive oil, which we use for all our cooking and baking needs, and sell in our market for our customers to use at home. This windfall will put us in a good financial position to take the next step in our long-term renewable energy plans. We may use solar to take our Della Zona wood-fired bake house off the grid!"
The next round of Green America’s quarterly award will be given to three green small businesses that focus on ethical apparel.
The businesses that the public vote on are determined by public nominations and an expert panel of judges: Gigi Abbadie, Aveda; Justin Conway, Calvert Foundation; Tess O’Brien, Clean Power Perks, Jennifer Snyder, Clif Bar; Erlene Howard, Collective Resource, Inc., Jenny Burns, Honest Tea; Jonathan Reinbold, Organic Valley; Martin Wolf, Seventh Generation; and Andrew Korfhage and Fran Teplitz, both of Green America.
ABOUT GREEN AMERICA
Green America is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today's social and environmental problems. http://www.GreenAmerica.org.
Please contact Todd Larsen by email
or by phone at 202-872-5307.