CAREtrade, founded by a group of KeHE employees in 2017, identifies and promotes a set of brands that advance a higher purpose than commercial success, aligning with the natural organic, specialty and fresh distributor’s dedication to service. Naperville, Illinois-based KeHE has revealed its new class of 2020 CAREtrade partners.
“These partners exemplify a passion for serving for a greater good through their environmental and humanitarian causes,” said Ari Goldsmith, VP of marketing and CAREtrade co-founder. “KeHE’s like-minded values are rooted in our mission of serving to make lives better. We’re proud to celebrate suppliers through this core initiative that supports brands who align with our purpose; to use business as a force for good.”
KeHE’s CAREtrade partners for 2020 are:
- Argania, a producer of authentic Moroccan Argan Nut butters, provides fair wages to more than 500 Berber women who work in female-run cooperatives in Morocco. This income propels the social status of the women and the cooperatives allowing them to escape isolation. In addition, Argania invests 5 percent of its profits directly back into the cooperatives to help support the women, their families and the communities in which they live.
- Project 7 is dedicated to seven important causes: saving the earth, housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, providing clean drinking water, healing the sick, supporting education and hope for peace with anti-bullying campaigns—through the sales of its specialty gum and candy. The company mandates a minimum of 10 percent of annual profits, but historically, it has given upwards of 30-50 percent of profits to these causes. The company says it believes little purchases, when added up, can pull people together and make life-changing impacts.
- Beyond Good, formally Madécasse, works directly with cocoa farmers in Madagascar to help them grow premium heirloom cocoa for their chocolate products. It ensures its cocoa farmers prosper with their Direct Trade and made-at-the-source mission and supports local community projects such as water wells and refurbishing schools. In 2020, Beyond Good’s goal is to produce 3 million chocolate bars, which support their mission of producing as much chocolate at the source as possible.
- Equal Exchange was the first Fair Trade coffee company in the U.S. and has worked for more than 30 years to increase compensation, accessibility and equality for the small-scale farmers where they source their products. In addition to fair prices, Equal Exchange coordinates funding for dozens of on-farm projects, which collectively generated more than $5 million in additional income for farmers over the past eight years.
- Rumi, an American veteran-run spice company, partners with Afghan farmers to bring sustainably farmed and unadulterated spices to the global market. It works directly with more than 300 farmers in Afghanistan and plans on expanding their reach to other war-torn countries bringing international flavor to U.S. consumers. In just two years, Rumi has seen output from its existing partners double and triple, while new farmers have asked to join their growing network.
Past CAREtrade suppliers, with KeHE’s support, have experienced 11 percent total U.S. growth together. This totaled $3 million in the last year according to IRI/SPINS. KeHE’s 2019 class consists of Bhakti, This Bar Saves Lives, NuttZo, World Centric and The Soulfull Project. The 2019 partners will continue in the program and serve as mentors to the new member organizations. 2018 CAREtrade partners Mavuno Harvest, the Real Co, Dignity Coconuts, Tony’s Chocolonely and Tanka will graduate the program at the end of 2019.