SAN FRANCISCO--(June 6, 2018)--Harmless Harvest— the pioneer and leader in U.S. Refrigerated Premium Coconut Water and the only Fair For Life Certified Organic Producer— today announced that natural foods industry veteran Ben Mand has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, effective June 11, 2018.
Mand joins Harmless Harvest with over 16 years of industry and leadership experience and an outstanding track record of growing and building responsible brands at CPG businesses with an emphasis on mission-driven leadership. Ben was instrumental in the phenomenal growth of Plum Organics, a leading provider of premium, organic foods and snacks for babies, toddlers and children. As Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing and Innovation, Mand was responsible for helping to build Plum’s vision and products and helped oversee the successful execution of the brand’s growth strategy. Prior to joining Plum, Mand worked in various marketing and innovation roles, including most recently at General Mills and Johnson & Johnson.
“Ben exemplifies the rare type of leader that will take Harmless Harvest to the next level of performance as a pioneering, sustainable and ethical food company as well as expanding Harmless’ unique vision to a broader audience,” said Co-Founder Justin Guilbert.
Co-founder Douglas Riboud added, “Ben combines two rare traits: passionate creativity with a commitment to hard work in achieving goals. Along with the rest of Harmless Harvest, Justin and I are grateful to have a leader of Ben’s caliber. We look forward to benefitting from his experience and collaboration as we achieve our objectives as a values-based enterprise.”
“I am thrilled to join the Harmless Harvest team and support our mission to benefit all of our stakeholders from the soil and farmers in Thailand that help produce our nutritious, organic products to the people who drink it,” said Mand. “Harmless Harvest is a flagship brand because of its powerful vision and commitment to its stakeholders and the environment. As a fan from day one of this pioneer, I was humbled to be offered this exceptional role and can’t wait to work with this great team to develop Harmless Harvest’s full potential in the years to come.”
Laurent Marcel, Managing Director of Danone Manifesto Ventures and a member of the Harmless Harvest Board of Directors, commented, “We cut no corners in identifying the right candidate to lead Harmless Harvest forward. After careful consideration, we unanimously determined that Ben is the ideal person for the role with a wealth of expertise and a successful track-record of launching and growing innovative, mission-driven and sustainable brands. Importantly, Ben embodies the unique DNA of Harmless Harvest and we are confident that he will help this one-of-a-kind company reach its ambitious goals.”
About Harmless Harvest
Founded by Justin Guilbert and Douglas Riboud in 2010, iconic brand Harmless Harvest delivered the first-ever minimally processed organic coconut water while becoming Fair for Life certified—meaning that it meets rigorous and independent standards for environmental sustainability and provides fair wages, healthcare, and well-being assurance for every farmer and employee both abroad and in the U.S. Harmless Harvest’s unique ecosystem-based business model also includes investing in the rural Thai communities where their coconuts are grown. From seed to shelf, the team at Harmless Harvest is committed to sharing the welfare they create and touching more lives with delicious, organic foods that are produced and traded with fair and sustainable business practices that promote social, agricultural, and environmental progress.
HARMLESS HARVEST LAUNCHES NEW LINE OF PROBIOTIC BEVERAGES AT FANCY FOOD SHOW IN SAN FRANCISCO
Beverage Industry Pioneer Moves Closer to Zero-Waste Ingredient Model with Launch of New Probiotic Cultured Coconut Beverage
SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 23, 2017) — Harmless Harvest—the world’s first Fair For Life certified organic coconut water producer—announces the launch of its newest product, a line of organic probiotic cultured coconut beverages called Harmless Coconut Probiotics. This exciting innovation in Harmless Harvest products continues its commitment to product, people and planet and is now one step closer to its goal of achieving a zero-waste ingredient model, adding to its industry-leading efforts to run an eco-system based business.
The new line of refreshing, plant-based probiotic cultured beverages joins the family of organic, Fair for Life certified Harmless Harvest coconut water. Harmless Coconut Probiotics combine the company's critically acclaimed organic coconut water, coconut meat from young coconuts, active probiotic cultures, and organic fruits. The line will be available in Original, Strawberries, Blueberries & Acai, Mangos & Acerolas, with no added thickeners, stabilizers, or artificial flavors.
"We are excited to unveil the newest member of the Harmless Harvest family at the Fancy Food Show here in our home town," said company CEO Giannella Alvarez. "This new plant-based beverage, made from the whole edible organic coconut, brings consumers a refreshing beverage with probiotics that support digestive and immune health.”
Harmless Coconut Probiotics is an important innovation for the company and industry because it "supports our ecosystem, and it allows us to truly 'crack' the coconut, delivering consumers the delicious water and meat and bringing us closer to achieving a zero-waste ingredient model," said Harmless Harvest's VP of Marketing & Innovation Deanna Fleming. With the addition of the coconut meat, each Probiotics serving boasts at least 5 grams of dietary fiber and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
"Our priorities as a business are to make delicious, organic products that connect consumers to plants the way nature intended, and deliver them from an ecosystem-based business that benefits people and the planet for future generations, " explained Alvarez. "With this new product, consumers have a satisfying on-the-go snack they can feel good about—whether it’s kick starting the day or recharging in the afternoon.”
For a preview of the new Harmless Coconut Probiotics line-up, or to learn more about the company, visit Harmless Harvest's booth (#478) at the 2017 Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco on January 23-24, 2017.
About Harmless Harvest
Harmless Harvest delivered the first-ever organic coconut water that is Fair for Life certified—meaning that it meets rigorous and independent standards for environmental sustainability and provides fair wages, healthcare, and well-being assurance for every farmer and employee both abroad and in the U.S. Harmless Harvest’s ecosystem-based business model also includes investing in the Thai communities where their coconuts are grown. From seed to shelf, the team at Harmless Harvest is committed to sharing the welfare they create and touching more lives with clean, delicious, organic foods that are produced and traded with fair and sustainable business practices that promote social, agricultural, and environmental progress.
Harmless Harvest, Director of PR and Communications
Phone: (516) 316-4201
Harmless Harvest, VP, Marketing and Innovation
Phone: (415) 638-0944
Harmless Harvest Announces New 32 oz. Harmless Coconut Water
SAN FRANCISCO – Harmless Harvest, producer of the world’s first Fair for Life certified organic coconut water, continues to grow its offerings with the introduction of a 32-ounce bottle. A portion of all sales of Harmless Harvest products go to our Fair for Life Fund that supports our farmers and their communities in Thailand, says CEO Giannella Alvarez.
The new bottle size, developed in response to consumer feedback, will continue to deliver great-tasting coconut water with naturally occurring electrolytes. Harmless Harvest is the only brand on the market produced using the multi-step microfiltration to maintain the highest levels of product quality and safety. The large format 32-ounce bottle contains four individual servings, encouraging consumers to enjoy great tasting, hydration throughout the day. The company continues to offer their 8.75- and 16-ounce sizes.
On August 15, Harmless Harvest completed its third Fair for Life (FFL) audit performed by the Institute for Marketecology (IMO), said Alvarez. As part of the Fair For Life commitment, Harmless Harvest contributes funds to an FFL Premium Fund Committee that allows Harmless Harvest to invest in local Thai farming communities, providing farmers and their communities with investments that support healthcare, education, and equality. Since the program’s inception, over 906 farmers have received medical care, and 386 school uniforms have been provided to 193 local Thai school-aged children.
“Reinvesting in our people and the communities where we source from is a core value of our brand,” said Alvarez. “At Harmless Harvest, we are committed to creating delicious, nutrient-rich organic products, all while treating people fairly, treating the planet harmlessly, and operating in a sustainable manner. The launch of the 32-ounce bottle is our latest way of replenishing the planet and giving back to the people and communities that produce Harmless Harvest Coconut Water.”
The new 32-ounce Harmless Harvest Coconut Water will be available in November this year.
About Harmless Harvest
Harmless Harvest delivered the first-ever organic coconut water that is “Fair for Life” certified – meaning that it meets rigorous and independent standards for environmental sustainability, and provides fair wages, healthcare and well-being assurance for every farmer and employee, both abroad and in the U.S. Harmless Harvest’s ecosystem-based business model also includes investing in the Thai communities where their coconuts are grown. From seed to shelf, the team at Harmless Harvest is committed to sharing the welfare it creates, and touching more lives with clean, delicious, organic foods that are produced and traded with fair and sustainable business practices that promote social, agricultural and environmental progress.
Harmless Harvest | VP of Marketing and Innovation
PR Hacker | Publicist
HARMLESS HARVEST PIONEERS GROUNDBREAKING NEW MULTI-STEP MICRO-FILTRATION PROCESS
San Francisco, CA – March 24th, 2016 – Harmless Harvest – the world’s first Fair-for-Life-certified Organic coconut water – is announcing a proprietary new multi-step micro-filtration process that achieves the highest levels of product safety and quality, while preserving optimal flavor, fragrance and nutrients of its critically acclaimed coconut water, which complies with FDA standards and requirements.
This groundbreaking process builds upon Harmless Harvest's history as an industry pioneer in the low-acid beverage category, and enables the company to introduce a new, more environmentally conscious bottle with an average of a quarter less plastic than previous bottles.
Currently, the primary industry method of ensuring the safety of low-acid juice beverages is thermal (heat) pasteurization. Thermal pasteurization is known to heavily heat (“cook or boil”) the product as a way to regulate safety, but it can leave a modified, burnt-like taste when used on coconut water.
According to the CEO of Harmless Harvest, Giannella Alvarez, the introduction of the Multi-Step Micro-Filtration process is a significant advancement for the industry. "With our move to our proprietary FDA-compliant Multi-Step Micro-Filtration linked to an aseptic filling and packaging system – as with every step we take as a company – it is our goal to drive the industry forward towards better products, better practices and more environmentally sustainable business models. We have an amazing team that is committed to bringing delicious organic food and beverages to consumers with a fair and sustainable business model that will change the industry as whole.”
Proving the company's mantra that "the best can always be better," this new Multi-Step Micro-Filtration, represents a groundbreaking "new method" of safe low-acid juice beverage production. Building upon the latest micro-filtration, extraction and bottling techniques from fields as diverse as pharmaceuticals and dairy, Harmless Harvest brainstormed, devised, developed and tested the Multi-Step Micro-Filtration process ensuring it complies with FDA standards and requirements.
Harmless Harvest is an ecosystem-based business that believes in bringing consumers the best organic ingredients through a business model that centers on the welfare of all people in the supply chain – from plant to shelf – and makes the sourcing environment a core beneficiary of its commercial success.
Each year they make a measurable impact on the sourcing communities and beyond, and are verified by third-party boards that ensure adherence to Fair-for-Life principles.
In developing this Multi-Step Micro-Filtration technology to Harmless Harvest's exacting standards, key criteria had to be met:
- An upheld commitment to Fair-for-Life and Fair-Trade principles
- No use of heat pasteurization, which destroy nutrients, modifies the physico-chemical structure of the product and can give a "burnt" flavor
- No use of acids, a common industry approach that results in reduced flavor and palatability
- Complete confidence in product safety and quality
The introduction of the Multi-Step Micro-Filtration process, linked to an aseptic filling and packaging system, is the latest in a remarkable string of beverage industry 'firsts' introduced by Harmless Harvest:
- The first mainstream USDA Organic coconut water brand in the U.S.
- The world’s first coconut water to be Fair-for-Life certified (Sharing the welfare they create with everyone in the chain of custody – from farmer to worker, everyone receives a fair wage and assured well-being.)
- The first coconut water to exclusively use Thailand's great-tasting Nam-Hom coconuts
- The first coconut water committed to being an "ecosystem-based business" that supports the people and planet through a product that truly "does good"
(In 2015 Harmless Harvest provided medical checkups to 776 farmers and their communities through its commitment to Fair-for-Life principles, and certified over 300 organic and Fair-for-Life farms.)
“We select the most fragrant and delicious coconuts, so naturally, it was important for us to develop a processing method that did not burn the compounds or risk losing the intended taste,” said Co-Founder Justin Guilbert. Douglas Riboud, co-founder, added “I am amazed and proud of the Team’s hard work, pioneering spirit and dedication – this has been brought to market at lightning speed.”
About Harmless Harvest
Harmless Harvest delivered the first-ever organic coconut water that is "Fair-for-Life" certified – meaning that it meets rigorous and independent standards for environmental sustainability and provides fair wages, healthcare and well-being assurance for every farmer and employee both abroad and in the US. Harmless Harvest's ecosystem-based business model also includes investing in the Thai communities where their coconuts are grown. From seed to shelf, the Team at Harmless Harvest is committed to sharing the welfare they create and touching more lives with clean, delicious, organic foods that are produced and traded with fair and sustainable business practices that promote social, agricultural and environmental progress.
Continually demonstrating its dedication to the long-term welfare of all stakeholders, Harmless Harvest is proud to become the first American coconut water to be Fair for Life - Social & Fair Trade certified. Fair for Life certification requires successfully passing extensive yearly audits covering a range of aspects, from good environmental practices to farmers’ wages and well-being to the working conditions at Harmless Harvest’s operations in Thailand and the United States. The findings are published on the Fair for Life website:
Harmless Harvest has been meticulous about setting up their business to benefit fair trade, the environment, and health. The company has set up a subsidiary in Thailand to ensure excellent working conditions at the factory, and has gotten the subsidiary certified Fair for Life. The US company has grown exponentially since its inception, and the company has maintained great benefits and salaries during this growth. This coming year will be the first that the company will generate a fair trade premium, and it is looking forward to creating funds for health- and education-related improvements in Thailand. (IMO Fair for Life)
Deciding to partner with IMO: Fair for Life was not a quick decision for Harmless Harvest. “Committing to a long-term partnership with a fair trade certifier is pivotal to verifying our ecosystem-based business model,” says Harmless Harvest co-founder Douglas Riboud. From the beginning, Harmless Harvest looked to companies respected for their environmental and social mindfulness, such as Whole Foods Market, which lead to a partnership with IMO to develop a full-scale social and environmental program.
“Four years ago we took a chance on these guys and launched their brand,” said Errol Schweizer, executive global grocery coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “Since then, they have not only proven to be a sales and innovation leader, but a pioneer in ethical sourcing. We couldn’t be prouder.”
“Harmless Harvest’s commitment to fair trade practices is evident throughout their supply chain. Offering stable, fair wages to farmers, directly employing the people who manufacture their product, establishing a safe environment with fair wages and benefits for all employees, and utilizing a fair trade premium that goes towards social initiatives in local communities embody the Fair for Life ethos,” explains Fair for Life representative Kerry Hughes.
With the commercial success of their first project, 100% Raw & Organic Coconut Water, Harmless Harvest immediately invested in the rural community at the source by building its facility in the area, creating over 100 full-time jobs. “Direct involvement allows for transparency along with better control and knowledge of how our products are made. More importantly, it fully integrates the community in our shared success, rather than ‘giving back’ a small piece of the bottom line,” explains Harmless Harvest co-founder Justin Guilbert.
“We have been able to take these steps only because of consumers’ support and the resources that comes with it. It is the ultimate positive feedback loop.” Douglas Riboud adds, “Without the retailers and customers that believed in us early on, we would not be here delivering on our promise to make better products from better sources.”
“At Harmless Harvest, we focus on making, not marketing,” says Guilbert. “Rather than spending on advertising, paid endorsements and cut rate promotions, we concentrate our resources on the raw material, source, manufacturing, and quality which has fostered the true support of a growing and engaged community that fuels our continuous improvement. Being pioneers in this fragmented and murky category gives us a responsibility to show that companies can be truly environmentally conscious, socially progressive, and commercially successful; these are not disconnected ideas, but essential characteristics of a modern company that delivers better food for all.”
About Fair for Life
The Fair for Life Programme is a third party certification standard for Social Accountability and Fair Trade and has been designed as a solution for operators world-wide who want to create a Fair Trade product line (‘Fair for Life’ certification) or wish to demonstrate Social Responsibility (‘for Life’ certification).