The Food Journal and Food, Nutrition & Science

An alliance between The Lempert Report and The Center for Food Integrity

Sustainability Series: HAPPYBABY

Sustainability Series: HAPPYBABY

Sustainability

November 28, 2010

 Launched in 2006, HAPPYBABY is a leading premium organic baby and toddler food brand. HAPPYBABY is also the only brand to feature a complete line of nutrition – from cereals to snacks – for young children’s growing bodies, and is consistently recognized for the superior taste and nutrition of their products. We talked to Shazi Visram, Founder and CEO of HAPPYBABY, about how the availability of nutritious products can help improve the overall health of our society.


How does your business define sustainability?

At HAPPYBABY, we define sustainability as designing and conducting business in the most environmentally and socially responsible manner possible that still allows us (or any company) to meet present needs without compromising the health or safety of future generations. Essentially, we strive to leave the world a better place for our children.

How are you incorporating sustainable practices into your business?

We believe incorporating sustainable practices into our business is absolutely essential, and we practice this in a variety of ways. 

Sourcing
First, we source our organic ingredients from responsible suppliers. For example, we buy our Salba from a small farmer in Peru named Alfredo. Alfredo uses sustainable and organic farming practices to grow the Salba. He also conducts his business in a socially responsible manner by paying his workers above market compensation, providing health coverage and making time for workers and their families to pursue their education. These are the types of suppliers we seek out in our business. In addition, all HAPPYBABY foods are organic and contain non-GMO ingredients.

Education
We aim to help educate the public about raising healthy babies and children. It is important for us to provide tips and educational materials on our website and in our newsletter so that we can serve as a resource to parents looking for information that will help them make informed decisions regarding food and nutrition. We also published a book, HAPPYBABY: The Organic Guide to Baby’s First 24 Months, co-authored with renowned pediatrician, Dr. Robert Sears, which is the definitive guide to helping parents create a safe and healthy environment for their family. 

Philanthropy
We partner with and support organizations such as Project Peanut Butter, Healthy Child Healthy World (HCHW) and the March of Dimes (MOD) whose philosophies and missions align with those of HAPPYBABY. For every product we sell, we are able to feed a malnourished child in Africa for an entire day through Project Peanut Butter. On a smaller scale, we supply nutrition content to the HCHW website, and our representatives offer snacks and crafts for families during the MOD’s annual walk.

Packaging
HAPPYBABY is passionate about and dedicated to using the most sustainable, innovative packaging with every product we make. Our HAPPYBELLIES cereal canisters are made from more than 50% recycled content, and our new HappyMunchies canisters are made with 62% recycled content. HAPPYBABY pouches and HAPPYTOT pouch packaging have a lower environmental impact than glass jars by using less overall material and by reducing transportation emissions because of their lightweight nature. Our new pouch shelf displays are made from 100% recycled fibers containing 35% post consumer content.

What are your short-term and long-term goals?

Overall, we want to grow our business in a responsible yet large scale way, so that we can provide access to healthy organic food for babies and young children at all economic levels. In the short-term we will continue to source all our raw materials from organic and responsible suppliers and support social causes, such as Project Peanut Butter, Healthy Child Healthy World and the March of Dimes, while also seeking out other organizations to partner with. In the long-term, we will work to improve our production and freight efficiencies to lessen our energy use, fossil fuel use and waste; and will continue to identify and utilize the most environmentally friendly packaging available.

Where do you think you’ll have the biggest impact?

HAPPYBABY is hoping to have the biggest impact on the health of babies and young children. Our products are now sold all over the world and are giving babies and young children optimal nutrition to begin a lifetime of health. We are passionate about creating foods that are as close to homemade as possible and use the most sustainable ingredients available. We want to help every parent provide their children with high quality, organic and nutrient-rich foods and feel good about it.

How do you measure your progress?

We measure our progress by setting aggressive goals and continually assessing them. Ultimately, our overall mission is to be a leader in the field of sustainability and have a business model in place that can serve as an example for other organizations. That’s something that we work towards every day.

How do retailers factor into your efforts? 

Sustainability affects everyone, including our retailers. We work closely with our retail partners to support consumer education and improve the supply chain, with a goal to see additional shopper dollars go toward supporting sustainably minded companies, both producers and stores. Together, we’re taking strides towards incorporating sustainability into customers’ daily lives and would love to see the entire food industry be gentler to the earth, one step at a time.

Why are sustainable business practices important to the food industry?

Sustainable business practices are essential in the food industry because of the recent decline of our food systems over the last 50 years. The current quality and nutritional standards of much of the food in the market is not healthy for our society or for the land it is grown on. It is essential that more land is converted to organic farming.

Why are sustainable business practices important to the consumer?

Consumers need to know that they are supporting companies and products that promote the health of the environment. They also need to feel confident that the products they are purchasing are the safest and healthiest for their families.  


In upcoming issues, we will feature interviews with food companies that are making strides in their sustainability efforts. If you are interested in telling us more about what your company is doing to get involved please contact Allison Bloom atallison@foodnutritionscience.com.