Frontier's Sustainability Report community


Our community objective is to have a positive impact on the communities where we do business — or, to put it another way, to be a good citizen in the communities impacted by our business.

We believe that being a co-op obligates us to leverage our success in support of our members' ideals — recognizing that our success is due in part to the fact that we so closely share those ideals. Our respectful and supportive participation in all the communities affected by our co-op — from the smallest to the world community — is a core value that drives our actions.


We have a social spending objective to support and fund causes that are in alignment with our mission and values. As part of our commitment to transparency with our stakeholders, we report on our total donations and the specific organizations, causes, and activities they support each year. We encourage your comments and suggestions related to these activities — please email us.

Total Grants and Donations by Source for the Last Five Years

  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Frontier Foundation 81,345 98,476 50,853 62,327 38,798
Simply Organic 1% 73,854 135,067 140,540 103,020 100,577
Aura Cacia 1% 14,106 12,941
Other 18,631 8,457 17,590 33,274 42,575

Frontier Foundation

The Frontier Foundation is one source of our social giving. It is a third-party administered fund, established in 2000 to make grants that “support dynamic, social, educational, and environmental causes.” Only non-profit registered (501 3c) organizations (or their equivalent outside of the United States) are eligible to apply for these grants.

The Foundation made grants totaling $54,148 in 2013. The largest donations were to support our Vietnamese school project through the Global Service Community Fund and donations to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief and Oklahoma relief.

We are looking into the use of Foundation donations to fund micro-loan enterprises in the future.

Frontier Foundation Donations for 2013 include:

$20,000   American Red Cross (Grant Wood Area Chapter)
$10,000   Kids Against Hunger
$3,490     Mercy Medical Center
$4,057     Especially for You
$2,100     Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cedar Rapids & East Central Iowa, Inc.

Simply Organic 1% Fund

One percent of all of Simply Organic net sales goes to causes that benefit organic farming and organic farmers. An important part of our social giving portfolio, SO1% is making a difference for organic farmers around the world. The total amount of SO1% grants made in 2013 was $100,577..

Simply Organic 1% Donations for 2013 include:

$15,000     Queens Botanical Garden
$10,000     Valley Verde
$10,000     The Organic Center
$10,000     Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES)
$7,857       Purdue Research
$5,000       NOFA – New York

For more information about our Simply Organic 1% funds and donations, click here.

In early 2012, we made an especially impactful grant of $40,000 to build 49 wells in 38 villages in Madagascar. The farms are organized into a co-op that provides Fair Trade and certified organic vanilla beans. They became one of our Well Earth partners in 2011. We were pleased that we found such a meaningful way to help these remote villagers, who often walked several miles to the river to get their water. A visit by CEO Tony Bedard and spice buyer Kai Stark in October to visit the project brought us their wonderful story. Learn more.

Aura Cacia Organic 1% Fund

One percent of all sales of organic Aura Cacia products is donated to grower communities around the world. The first grant from the fund was made in early 2012 for $14,106 to build a pre-school for rural Madagascar children of ylang ylang oil farmers. Our grant paid for building and furnishing the pre-school. Last year we provided a little less than $13,000 worth of simple harvesting equipment to improve the safety of harvesting baobab in Senegal.

Community Giving Team

Especially for You Race Against Breast Cancer participants Other donations include those allocated by the employees who staff our Community Giving Team. These monies go to charities, events and causes in our local communities where our employees live. The team also organizes the annual Especially for You Race Against Breast Cancer and The Big Brothers Big Sisters annual Bowl for Kids' Sake fund-raiser.

We also strongly encourage community giving through employee volunteer time. We offer eight hours of paid volunteer time for each employee that may be used for a charitable event or project of the employee's choosing. There is a "bank" provision so people can donate unused hours for others to borrow. About 25% of volunteer hours are currently utilized. We are seeking ways to increase participation — we would like to see at least half of our employees take advantage of this benefit.

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The total amount of Simply Organic 1% grants made in 2013 was $140,540.

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Frontier funds an organic farming training center in Sri Lanka

Frontier funds an organic farming training center in Sri Lanka

Frontier Co-op Truck Donation Helps Feed Indian Kids

Frontier Co-op Truck Donation Helps Feed Indian Kids