Despite a crisis that might have driven many companies out of business, Charles Sweat has led Earthbound Farm to reinvent food safety and earn the distinction as the largest grower of organic salad greens in the nation.
Sweat, president and CEO of Earthbound Farm since 2006, though he served as CFO since 1998, follows a high standard for himself and the business. Simply put, it is to do the right thing ? for employees, owners, customers and consumers.
That begins with converting conventional farm land into organic farm land and follows with organic methods that keep chemicals out of the environment to deliver a healthy choice to people in the United States and Canada.
So when a national E. coli outbreak was linked to conventional spinach Earthbound Farm had packaged for Dole Food Co. in 2006, the company voluntarily recalled all fresh-cut spinach products. Earthbound Farm’s facilities and procedures were not found to be the source of contamination but evidence pointed to a cattle pasture about a mile from the field where the spinach was grown.
Under Sweat’s leadership, the company embraced the insights gained into the food safety science. A testing program was implemented and Earthbound Farm is the unrivaled leader today in food safety in ready-to-eat produce.
Sweat encourages a business environment that attracts energetic and innovative employees and that is focused on the triple bottom line: people, planet and profits. Employees are supported in their work to achieve innovative goals.
In addition, many environmentally responsible organizations received support under Sweat’s guidance. More than 350 charitable organizations receive assistance each year. To offset its carbon emissions, Earthbound Farm has planted 50,000 trees annually with the American Forests organization for more than 10 years.
The company sponsors scholarships for a graduate fellowship in environmental studies as well as scholarships for children of company employees.
How to reach: Earthbound Farm, (831) 623-7880 or www.ebfarm.com