Willamette Valley wine producer is only winery in the world with B Corporation certification
Submitted by: A to Z Wineworks
Posted: Jun 18, 2014 – 02:19 PM EST
NEWBERG, Ore., Jun. 18 /CSRwire/ - Based in the world-renowned Willamette Valley wine region, A to Z Wineworks has added the letter B to its title, becoming the only winery certified as a B Corporation in the world. Certified B Corporations or B Corps use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. The certification demonstrates A to Z Winework’s deep commitment to transparency, accountability, and social, environmental and economic performance.
A to Z recently announced the achievement by raising a glass of 2013 A to Z Rosé with its 49 employees. “We’ve grown to become Oregon’s largest winery while following economically and environmentally sound and sustainable practices,” said Deb Hatcher, founder and chief marketing and sales officer at A to Z Wineworks / REX HILL. “Now as the only winery certified as a B Corp., we’ve made a public commitment to continue creating a business culture that takes care of the land and the people who tend it.”
Started in 2002 by two Oregon wine industry couples, the Hatchers and the Francis Tannahills, A to Z Wineworks has grown to become one of Oregon’s leading wine producers. The company’s award-winning portfolio includes A to Z, which offers aristocratic wines at democratic prices and is trusted for consistent delivery of excellence for value, as well as the esteemed REX HILL, and the artisanal William Hatcher and Francis Tannahill wines.
According to the Oregon Wine Board, Oregon boasts the greatest commitment to sustainable farming of any wine region in the U.S. Nearly half of Oregon's vineyards (47 percent) are sustainably farmed and certified by one of several independent organizations. This compares to only 12 percent of vineyards in California. (Washington's wine industry doesn't track sustainably farmed acreage.)
The community of more than 1,000 B Corporations in 35 countries from 60 industries is leading a global movement to redefine success in business by voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability and performance.
In order to be recognized as a Certified B Corporation, A to Z Wineworks had to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance. These performance standards are comprehensive, measuring a company’s impact on its employees, suppliers, community, and the environment. The company participated in an assessment process established by B Lab, the non-profit that certifies B Corps. The assessment included frank disclosure of information relating to A to Z Wineworks’ operations, hiring and promotion procedures, environmental management practices, and governance. It also had to legally expand its corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests. This ensures that the company’s values would thrive under new management, new investors, or new ownership.
“We’d like to toast the newest member of the community of B Corporations – A to Z Wineworks,” said Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab. “A to Z Wineworks received high marks for having female management and owners, paying workers above living wage, and giving back to the community. We're proud to have them join the movement to redefine success in business.”
Oregon has the second highest density of certified B Corps in the U.S. There are 47 Oregon B Corporations including New Seasons Market, Neil Kelly Company, Bridgetown Natural Foods, Sustainable Harvest Specialty Coffee Importers, Prem Group and others.
Hatcher added, “Opportunities for doing more good only increase as our business grows. We look forward to helping other wineries and other Oregon companies interested in following our path to pursue this certification. We’d like to inspire businesses to compete not only to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world.”
About A to Z Wineworks
Based in Newberg, Oregon, A to Z Wineworks has grown to become one of Oregon’s leading producers since its inception in 2002. The company’s award-winning portfolio includes A to Z, which offers aristocratic wines at democratic prices and is trusted for consistent delivery of excellence for value, as well as the esteemed REX HILL, and the artisanal William Hatcher and Francis Tannahill wines. To learn more about A to Z Wineworks, visit atozwineworks.com, and follow the company on Facebook at facebook.com/AtoZWineworks and on Twitter @AtoZWineworks.