Clif Bar: A Fun Sustainable Business Report

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ClifBar_SustainableReport_2013I recently had the opportunity to visit the #1 energy bar company, Clif Bar in Emeryville, California. Leading up to this visit, I had marveled at the story of Gary Erickson, who founded this company on a bike ride and in a garage twenty years ago, and has since launched a winery, tasting room and family farm with co-owner and wife, Kit Crawford. Having now visited both Velo Vino and Clif Bar, I could not be more amazed by this family and their contributions to organic agriculture, the people they work with and the way they have built their business to feature sustainable practices and responsibility. Clif Bar’s 2013 All Aspirations annual report is really fun to look at- yes, fun design, great photos and collage effects, and something you might like to save and go back to again and again.

As if I wasn’t impressed enough already, I learned they have their own cafe inside their headquarters that serves an organic soup and salad for about $6. which is partially subsidized so it costs less to employees.

They have their own gym and encourage employees to get fit, a Cool Commute program and are an LEED-certified workplace.  They even offer a program through Terracycle for individuals or schools to send back wrappers from Clif products to turn them into a park bench or a bag.

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Clif Bar is always looking for new ways to help people and not make new problems for the world.  Bravo.

CUESA: Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture… It’s a Mouthful!

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CUESA, is San Francisco’s “Center for Urban Education and Sustainable Agriculture”… and it’s a mouthful to say, but a pleasure to indulge in the bounty that this non-profit manages year round for our health and pleasure.

10 years ago, in the Spring of 2003, the Farmer’s Market at the Embarcadero in San Francisco re-opened in their new space, which became CUESA’s home and office spaces as well.  CUESA has a fabulous website and Twitter feed that tell you what produce is in season (click here to view their “Seasonality Charts”), who will be at the market each day, and they offer up to the minute specials on their Twitter feed during market days.

For example, the market is open today, Thursday, until 2pm and they have already posted a photo on Instagram.
http://instagram.com/p/irSGzPpYxJ/#

If you like cookbooks, they have a San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market Cookbook which helps you to learn to cook by season and provides a bit more of the history of the SF Farmer’s Market and CUESA.  The cookbook provides more in depth information about seasonal vegetables, including their history, uses and seasonal recipes.  The Farmers Market is open year round, so get out and enjoy the colors and bounty by the Bay.  Here’s the ferry schedule to get you started.