Sourcing Ingredients the Right Way: How One Brand is Making a Difference

Frontier Natural Products Co-Op logo

by | Updated: December 4th, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

Smart shopping today involves not only knowing where products come from and how they’re made, but who’s involved in making the things we choose to buy. Are the people treated fairly? Are they treated well? For decades, one company has strived to build direct relationships that benefits both the growers that supply ingredients for their products and the communities in which they live. Say hello to Frontier Co-op!

Co-Op Farmer Harvesting Organic Red Peppers as Part of Sustainable Sourcing Program |

The co-op, which offers spices and a wide range of other botanical products, works directly with suppliers whenever possible through its sustainable sourcing program, Well Earth. Frontier’s Well Earth partners get more for their crops by eliminating middlemen, and they have the co-op’s help in improving their quality and efficiency. Frontier also funds programs to help the people in their communities.

A brand that gives back

In grower communities around the world, Frontier’s donations (set aside from the sales of the co-op’s three brands — Frontier Co-op, Simply Organic and Aura Cacia) have helped supplier communities with projects such as digging wells and building schools, libraries and training centers.

Tony Bedard, Frontier Co-op CEO, recently traveled to Coban, a city in mountainous central Guatemala, to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new dental clinic building. The clinic is part of the medical and dental care services provided by Frontier’s co-op sourcing partner, Fedecovera, to its members. A donation from Frontier helped equip and staff the modern clinic.

Fedecovera is a cooperative whose members are 48 small independent farmer groups, most of the groups co-ops themselves. Altogether it represents nearly 25,000 small growers. This Well Earth partner has been a Frontier supplier since 2009 — and Frontier has helped them become a major world supplier of allspice and cardamom.

Frontier’s donation to the clinic in Coban supports Fedecovera’s ongoing program to provide medical and dental care for its members and their communities. Many of the people using the new clinic are from indigenous Mayan grower communities in remote mountainous regions without easy access to medical and dental services.

“We’re glad we can help these hard-working, caring people,” says Bedard. “Our donations make a real difference in the lives of the people in these small agricultural communities.”

The giving effect

When Bedard talked with the woman filling the new dentist position at the clinic, he found that she was giving back as well. She passed up much more lucrative opportunities in the larger city where she had trained in order to return to the area where she grew up and help those who had supported her.

Frontier’s Well Earth program betters lives in small agricultural communities all over the world. Sales of the co-op’s products help Frontier provide farmers with tools and resources for producing high quality, sustainable crops — and help their communities with basics such as health care, clean water and education. That’s the right way to source products.