In Episode 82 of The Wendel Forum (originally aired on October 27, 2012, on 960 KNEW AM radio), show moderator Bill Acevedo, chair of Wendel Rosen’s sustainable business practice group, welcomes Caroline Duell, the founder of Elemental Herbs, an organic body care company based on the central coast of California.

With a background in herbal medicine, Duell is a massage therapist and outdoor enthusiast who began making skin care products for her friends and family.  Later, after success selling the products at farmers markets, she launched Elemental Herbs, a California certified B Corporation.  That certification is to sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee – it measures a company’s commitment to operating a business responsibly and sustainably.

Caroline Duell, Founder of Elemental Herbs

Duell also runs a farm, from which she harvests some ingredients for her natural healing products such as All Good Goop, a moisturizer and salve.  While Duell also gets ingredients from outside suppliers, she only partners with similar-minded businesses.  In particular, she examines other companies’ employee benefits, utilities use, social benefits and transparency.  Though not certified organic, all Elemental Herbs holistic products and remedies contain organic ingredients and are free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

The Elemental Herbs farm also offers a CSA (community supported agriculture) and serves as an education center, including offering courses about sustainable living.  As a member of 1% for the Planet, one percent of all Elemental Herbs revenues is dedicated to fighting for social and environmental justice around the world.  Organizations it supports include a local marine mammal protection organization, a local trail organization, Save Our Snow, which provides information about how global warming affects the planet’s snowfall, and cityWILD, which brings inner city kids into the mountains.

Do you care about the company policies, as well as the ingredients, of your skin care products?

Post Links:

Listen to the interview with Duell: Episode 82 of The Wendel Forum (26:47 mins; mp3)

Elemental Herbs website: http://elementalherbs.com

B Corporation website: http://www.bcorporation.net/

1% for the Planet website: http://onepercentfortheplanet.org/en/

960 KNEW AM Radio website: http://www.960KNEW.com

Bill Acevedo’s online profile: http://www.wendel.com/wacevedo

In Episode 66 of The Wendel Forum (originally aired on June 9, 2012, on 960 KNEW AM radio), show moderator Bill Acevedo, chair of Wendel Rosen’s Sustainable Business Practice Group, welcomes “Farmer Al” Courchesne of Frog Hollow Farm to discuss the farm’s community supported agriculture program (“CSA”).

Farmer Al in the orchard

Located in Brentwood, an hour east of San Francisco, Frog Hollow Farm produces organic stone summer fruit – cherries, nectarines, plums, peaches and pluots – on 143 acres in California’s Central Valley.  In the fall, Farmer Al grows pears, apples and persimmons.  The Farm is organically certified, using non-chemical, non-invasive materials to control pests.

In addition to selling fruit to wholesale retailers, Frog Hollow Farm has since 2003 offered a CSA box for individuals and families.  Frog Hollow Farm CSA members subscribe to a weekly or bi-weekly program in which Frog Hollow Farm delivers boxes of fresh fruit to an established neighborhood delivery site (typically a subscriber’s front porch or a school).

2012 has marked a heightened awareness and demand for local food, according to Farmer Al.  Consumers usually learn about CSAs largely through word of mouth.  The interest, explains Farmer Al, is that consumers are seeking fresher, better tasting, more nutritious food, and they want to know how their food was grown.

The benefits of subscribing to a CSA are many:  

  • Joining a CSA can expose families to new fruits and new ways of cooking.  
  • As CSA membership grows, farmers can plant fruit varieties they couldn’t otherwise if they were solely shipping to distant retail locations. 
  • Forming a direct relationship between growers and residents increases demand and supply of fresh, seasonal, local food; keeps food dollars local; and supports small farms.

Have you tried a CSA?
 

Post Links:

Listen to the interview with Farmer Al: Episode 66 of The Wendel Forum(27:52 mins; mp3)

Frog Hollow Farm website: http://www.froghollow.com/

To learn more about CSAs, Farmer Al recommends visiting Local Harvest’s website: http://www.localharvest.org

960 KNEW AM Radio website: http://www.960KNEW.com

Bill Acevedo’s online profile: http://www.wendel.com/wacevedo

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