Stonyfield Farm: Sharing a Holistic Approach to Supply Chain Management

LaurenHarburn    June 21, 2016

How it all Began

Today, Stonyfield Organic is a New Hampshire based organic dairy brand specializing in the production of yogurt, smoothies, frozen yogurt, milk and cream as well as some lactose free soy based products. The mission of the company is to provide healthy organic options to everyone that are free of pesticides, antibiotics, artificial hormones or GMOs while helping family farms survive and doing it all in a sustainable manner. However, 3o years ago the two founders Samuel Kaymen and Gary Hirshberg didn’t think it would be their dairy products changing the world. Stonyfield began as non-profit organic farming school where the two men shared their love of healthy eating, protecting the environment and family farming. They needed a way to fund their school so they started to make organic yogurt with the 7 dairy cows that they had. They knew that they were staying true to their values by producing the organic yogurt they just didn’t know how much everyone else was going to love it! 30 years later and only 30 miles East of the original farm, the business is stronger than ever providing a plethora of tasty and healthy options with the same goals in mind from the start.

Increasing Visibility and Product Transparency

Eating organically is a hot topic these days and when you own a company that boasts “all organic” products, your customers want you to prove it to them. People have the right to know what they are eating and where it came from. Stonyfield makes it possible for it’s customers to see exactly where all of the ingredients that go into their products are sourced from. The company teamed up with SourceMap to create an online map that shows the exact location, farm conditions and history for each ingredient they use. Everything is on the map from the dairy farms that produce the milk they use to where they get the fruit to flavour their products. Stonyfield mainly sources from small family owned and operated farms – SourceMap allows the customers to get to know these families by including a profile of the people behind the operation. Aside from mapping the origins of products, Sourcemap provides users with a supplier social network, allowing buyers to engage directly with these suppliers. Through this engagement, detailed product mapping can be achieved.

In the below video, Wood Turner VP of Sustainability Innovation and Derek Singer Sourcing and Supplier Development Manager explain how and why Stonyfield created their ingredients map.

Sustainable Management of the Supply Chain

Another goal that Stonyfield strives to achieve is the reduction of their environmental impact. They are currently using a tool called SupplyShift to manage their supply chain which is a cloud based platform that focuses on sustainability as well as troubleshooting and pinpointing supply chain risks.

“When it comes to managing environmental and social impact across any business, supply chains are everything,” cited Wood Turner, Stonyfield’s VP of Sustainability Innovation. “The challenge comes in getting diverse suppliers aligned around shared values and leadership aspirations. At Stonyfield, we have high hopes that SupplyShift will be the key to a new phase of innovation for us.”

Many companies are finding that the supply chain is the biggest obstacle in maintaining sustainability goals as their businesses grow. SupplyShift is helping to solve this problem by creating a way for buyers and suppliers to communicate and create shared value in transitioning to more responsible business practices. Since most of the competition between companies now lies in their supply chains, this tool also allows suppliers to easily see how their performance compares with other similar suppliers, to create a marketplace for supplier sustainability information. Stonyfield is using SupplyShift to focus on reducing their suppliers environmental impact with regards to energy, water, waste management practices and any risks to forests with regards to the raw materials.

Lessons for Others

As social media continues to play a more dominant role in supply chain management, multiple social networks can be used to provide a large scale view of the supply chain – something that used to be viewed as various broken up parts. Being able to see how a business functions as a whole allows for better decision making when it comes to increasing efficiency, reducing environmental impact and cultivating innovation. For Stonyfield, it is crucial for everyone to be on the same page when it comes to environmental values and goals and social media has allowed them and their suppliers to thrive while staying connected and true to what they believe.

Industry: Organic Farming
Name of Organization Contact: Gary Hirshberg, CEO

Authored by: Lauren Harburn

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