Gary Hirshberg talks about Stirring it up: How to Make Money and Save the World.
Hirshberg shares the secrets that helped his company, Stonyfield Farm, skyrocket to success. He argues that traditional business practices are counterproductive and have created many of the problems that threaten to make the world uninhabitable- Book Passage
Gary Hirshberg is the president and CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm, the world's largest manufacturer of organic yogurt. Hirshberg has overseen the company's growth from infancy as a 7-cow organic farming school in 1983 to its current $200 million in annual sales. This growth has been built with innovative marketing techniques that often combine the social, environmental, and financial missions of the company.
One of the company's five missions is "to serve as a model that environmentally and socially responsible businesses can also be profitable." In the early days of Stonyfield, Hirshberg wore many hats, from yogurt-maker to bookkeeper. He served as director of the Rural Education Center, the small organic farming school from which Stonyfield was spawned.
Before that, he was executive director of The New Alchemy Institute, an ecological institute devoted to organic agriculture, aquaculture, and renewable energy systems. Early in his career, he was a water-pumping windmill specialist, an author, environmental education specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and a manager of environmental tours to the People's Republic of China.
Hirshberg was one of the first graduates of Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. He has received four honorary doctorates. He serves on several corporate and nonprofit boards including Homegrown Naturals, Honest Tea, and O'Naturals, a new chain of natural fast food restaurants he cofounded. He co-chaired The Social Venture Network for five years and is the founder of the Social Venture Institute, a "boot camp" for community-minded entrepreneurs.
Hirshberg has won numerous awards for corporate and environmental leadership including the 1999 Global Green USA's Green Cross Millennium Award (inspired by Mikhail S. Gorbachev) for Corporate Environmental Leadership. He was named "Business Leader of the Year" by Business NH Magazine and New Hampshire's 1998 Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Great increase in production of food grains (especially wheat and rice) that resulted in large part from the introduction into developing countries of new, high-yielding varieties, beginning in the mid-20th century. Its early dramatic successes were in Mexico and the Indian subcontinent. The new varieties require large amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to produce their high yields, raising concerns about cost and potentially harmful environmental effects. Poor farmers, unable to afford the fertilizers and pesticides, have often reaped even lower yields with these grains than with the older strains, which were better adapted to local conditions and had some resistance to pests and diseases. See alsoNorman Borlaug.
I haven't looked into all the other products sold by Stonyfield and I do think what Mr. Hirshberg is doing is the right thing economically and ecologically.
However, one should Never buy Yogurt in a cup if possible. It is as easy to make at home as making rice in a rice cooker. Yes you have to start the process with some yogurt. So, buy your first cup of yogurt(plain). Boil some milk. Let the milk cool down to room temperature. Pour say 1-3 tea spoon of the yogurt that you have in the milk. Keep it in a warm place for 4-8 hours depending on the room temperature(I keep it in the oven overnight) and you have your yogurt.
Yes, this is plain yogurt I am talking about with no preservatives, sugars, colors or flavor.
When this batch of yogurt is nearing the end, boil some milk, pour the 1-3 tea spoon of yogurt from your first batch into the milk and the process continues..
Save your money, eat healthy and live well.
I like everything Mr. Hirshberg says yet I wish he was thinking about the actual cows more and used his power to convince people to buy soy yogurt. Adopt-a-Cow project is not really what's known as adoption. This project is just marketing gimmick that sounds like "good-doing". Cows don't send e-mails, if we really think about what's natural and realize that we are a part of nature. Cows are a part of nature too. I'd be much happier if he actually let people adopt the cows in a way that would make a difference for the cows. Moreover, if he convinced more people to eat soy yogurt, he'd have to worry way, way less about cutting costs of green practices as cows are the main polluters of the environment.
If going green is as profitable as he says it is, how is it that so few big companies are jumping on the bandwagon? I'm not saying I disagree with him, but where is the disconnect between this reasoning and putting it into practice?
Originally Posted by rocketdog
Adopt-a-Cow promotion = frickin' genius. I am so buying this guy's yogurt on my way home today.
Are you going to adopt a cow afterwards? I think it's funny that the cow sends you email. Hilarious.