Fast Company reports on Patagonia's first acquisition in more than 20 years - a snack company called Moonshot, described as "a startup that makes snacks with a low-carbon footprint."
Moonshot, the story says, "launched two years ago with climate change in mind. The company works with wheat farmers in Washington State who grow organically - avoiding the carbon footprint of petroleum-based fertilizer and chemical pesticides - and use 'regenerative' farming practices like planting cover crops, reducing tillage, and rotating crops, which can build up healthy microbes in the soil and potentially sequester more carbon. (While the climate impacts of regenerative farming still aren’t fully proven, the techniques have multiple other benefits, including protecting biodiversity and preventing water pollution.) The wheat goes to a mill a couple of miles away to avoid long-distance shipping, and the resulting flour goes to a factory that runs on renewable energy."
Fast Company writes that this is just the latest move by Patagonia Provisions, which currently sells more than two dozen items - like smoked mackerel, dried mango, and kelp salsa - both on its own website and in Whole Foods.
Paul Lightfoot, general manager of Patagonia Provisions, explains the strategy this way:
“We are, at heart, still a gear and apparel company. But the mission of the company is really simple and clear—to save our own planet. And [founder] Yvon Chouinard and the rest of the leadership team and I believe that if that’s our mission, food could and perhaps should be the most important lever that we can pull toward fulfilling that mission … We think that the food business should eventually rival the apparel business. And we think that anywhere there are parts of the food system that are extractive and destructive, we have a role to play in creating a counterbalancing set of food products that are regenerative. . . . We don’t seek growth for its own sake. But we recognize that to have an impact, we have to scale. So this probably will be a part of the company that grows a lot over the next 5 to 10 years."
- KC's View:
Seems perfectly on brand to me. And a very smart line extension by one of the planet's most interesting and responsible companies.