Q: How is White Leaf looking towards the future in 2022 rather than trying to reset?
There is huge expansion on the horizon for White Leaf! We are super excited to expand our mission and vision in 2022 by introducing additional regeneratively farmed, biodynamic pantry staples. We are bringing these items, created for all ages, to market with the same regenerative approach and mindset we took with developing our baby food and applesauce.
When we set out, we began with baby food because we had a little one ourselves and immediately recognized an unmet need. We saw lots of organic and GMO-free certified products in baby food grocery store aisles, but none that went a few steps beyond to showcase regenerative farming. Our son, Keegan, also began having adverse reactions to even the most organic and 'healthy' baby food options, further hindering our trust in the farming behind the ingredients. So, we created products that are Certified Biodynamic® by Demeter and Glyphosate-free. And, we understood that regeneratively farmed foods – grown without any chemical pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides, ever – are especially crucial for the most vulnerable and delicate gut and immune systems.
That said, since inception, we also did not envision pigeonholing ourselves as a baby food brand. We always knew we wanted to offer humans of all ages and phases accessibility to products that have regenerative and biodynamics at their core. We plan on launching more convenient options in the future, so that our customers can regenerate their pantries, without the unrealistic pressure of finding regeneratively farmed ingredients at their local supermarkets or making everything from scratch.
Q: Why is it important to focus on regenerative farming as we start the year?
Providing our children with pure and transparent food is a gift and a mission that we are proud to help further everyday. However, if we are not working to also leave them a healthier planet, we are still ultimately doing them a major disservice and tenuous future. That is why we make it such a point to educate on not only the human health benefits of regenerative farming, of which there are many, but also the detrimental effects of traditional agriculture and how it is rapidly depleting our soils and contributing to climate change.
Over the past year, in particular, it has been heartening to see more and more people, both within the industry and consumers too, waking up to the damaging effects that modern farming methods are having on our planet. And, it isn’t just a shift in consumers’ mindsets – we're seeing people galvanized into action and actually changing their purchasing decisions. That’s major!
Aside from education, we built our business from the get-go on the back of regenerative agriculture, and are dedicated to providing more products for more people to support this method of farming and heal our soils. We consistently monitor our carbon footprint and are always looking for ways to lower our impact on the planet.
Q: Can you share some tips or inspo for small lifestyle swaps we can all make on a daily basis to help the planet?
- Recycle: As a family, we work to really instill a recycle, reduce, reuse, refill, and regenerate approach to our daily lives, across all ages (six months to north of 40)! We’re also very committed to cutting down on single-use plastic as much as possible. In the rare instances that we do have to use it, we have a TerraCycle Zero-Waste Box™ at home that allows us to recycle everything not taken curbside.
- Refill: We do not buy bottled water. Instead, we each have and utilize our own reusable water bottles. In addition to considering the ingredients that go into our household products, we stopped buying disposable cleaning products and now buy only in bulk and refill forms. Packaging made of recycled materials is also a big plus!
- Reuse/reduce: We prioritize buying items second-hand whenever possible to support the emerging market for resale, open-box, and gently-used items. Our hope is to help minimize the “stuff” burden for the next generation by keeping lightly-used products out of landfills. Also knowing how wasteful the fashion industry, in particular, can be, we don’t buy a lot of new clothes, opting instead to shop frequently on ThreadUp or Poshmark. In addition, we like to choose reusable bags and jars for portable snacks and meals, as well as for the kids’ lunches.
- Regenerate: When it comes to our food, we practice what we preach behind the scenes at White Leaf. We compost and support regenerative farms whenever we can, and look for ethically sourced meats that are really intent on bringing integrity back to the world of meat processing. We drink Biodynamic wine and Biodynamic Coffee as well in the morning.
Q: What is your brand doing to restore the planet in 2022?
We are always researching new and better ways to source regeneratively farmed ingredients for our products, which we see as one of the greatest tools and opportunities to heal the planet. This, of course, extends to our approach when we create new items as well. We are eager to continuously expand our line so that we can push the limits on how popular pantry essentials are brought to market and tackle all aspects of the finished product with a focus on planet health.
Additionally, we are prioritizing partnerships and strategic alliances this coming year – figuring out how we can join forces with brands and organizations with like-minded missions. We aim to improve our carbon footprint, introduce similar communities that really care, and synergistically progress our values and goals together.
For example, we are continuing to expand our free mail-in recycling program with TerraCycle, and have teamed up with HowGood, the leading sustainable food-rating company. HowGood comprises the world's largest database on sustainable food. They are helping us to figure out a sustainability score for each of our products, and from there, develop operating programs to improve and grow. We will of course be releasing our scores to the public, as soon as this spring.
We are also in conversations with CarbonForest, an organization dedicated to helping consumers and brands offset their carbon footprints, by working closely with foresters to plant trees, maximize carbon offset and survivability of those trees, and build a sustainable ecosystem while doing so. As a consumer packaged goods company with an environmental mission, it’s of chief importance to us that we continuously try and find new and innovative ways to cut down on waste and overconsumption – as a brand, as a family and as members of society and humanity. We plan to launch together surrounding Earth Day 2022, so please stay tuned!