Stonyfield Organic “Moo”ves through the social media ecosystem to share leading-edge sustainable supply chain management practices

CRS    February 22, 2015


Organisation name: Stonyfield Farm

Industry: Food and beverage

Name of contact if available:

Wood Turner, VP Sustainability Innovation, Stonyfield Farm


Gary Hirshberg, Chairman and Former CEO of Stonyfield Farm


Web references: ; Social Media- A Natural Fit for Stonyfield Farm ; WikiPearl™

About Stonyfield Organic

Since its inception in 1983, Stonyfield Farm has followed the ecological and environmental principles espoused by Gary Hirshberg, the former CEO.  These principles are based upon ethical and organic farming practices, use of non-GMO crops, fair wages and human resource practices, sustainable packaging, and waste minimization. Business benefits stem from cost reduction, a lower carbon footprint, and customer recognition of the health benefits of the selected crop production and packaging practices. Stonyfield Farm has embraced social media to widely share these benefits with customers.

Description of how social media is used for business performance

Although social media can certainly be used by supply chain partners to improve communication and reduce operational efficiencies, the focus of this post is how Stonyfield Farm has used social media to share supply chain practices with customers. At Stonyfield Farm, company representatives use a variety of social media platforms to share the health and environmental benefits of Stonyfield’s ecological practices; messages that seem to resonate with customers. Danone (the parent company of Stonyfield Farm) reported profitable growth in the second half of 2014, and achievement of annual targets.

Social media provides transparency for the Stonyfield Organic supply chain

Farmers are central to the Stonyfield’s supply chain. Milk, fruit, sugar and organic packaging are essential components of the Stonyfield product. To connect customers with farmers and to provide transparency for the agricultural supply chain, Stonyfield created an interactive map through which customers can view biographies of individual suppliers.


Stonyfield gives a face to organic dairy suppliers through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, and interactive components of the Stonyfield website.



Similarly, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Youtube are used to explain how Stonyfield suppliers provide fruit that is grown without the use of persistent pesticides. Twitter hashtags #fightpesticides and #justlabelit are used to further the discussion on organic agricultural practices and genetically modified crops. Comedic clips are used to help reinforce messages in a light-hearted way.



A Youtube video is used to explain Stonyfield’s partnership with supply chain partner São Francisco Sugar Mill in Sertãozinho, Brasil. The video not only educates consumers about environmental problems associated with sugar production, it also explains what Stonyfield is doing to ensure and support ecologically-sound practices on behalf of sugar supply-chain partners.


Carbon footprint

Stonyfield Farm has focused on carbon footprint reduction since 2007–a fact that is also shared over social media.

Waste reduction and packaging

Powerpoint presentations, audio clips, and Youtube videos are used to explain how Stonyfield sought innovative biological alternatives to petroleum-based plastics for packaging to address customer health-related concerns and to reduce the carbon footprint of packaging.


Downstream–after use–yogurt containers are recycled by Stonyfield partners into useful products.


Future directions

The partnership between Stonyfield Organic and Wiki Pearl™ represents an innovative step towards reducing waste with the introduction of an edible non-plastic food packaging technology–an innovation shared through Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.


Community/customer involvement

To ensure product developments accurately address customer concerns and that information is shared with members of the appropriate target market, Stonyfield has partnered with a community of bloggers focused on healthy living.


Lessons learned 

-Integrate the use of more than one social media platform to reinforce the same message

-Personal stories add credibility and help build transparency

-Incorporate humor and creativity into messages

-Respond to consumer concerns and explain how product changes address concerns

-Consistent corporate principles over time help build trust and reliability

Submitted By: Aileen MacMillan, SMBP Student, University of Waterloo

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance