TH Interview: Sheryl O'Loughlin, CEO of Clif Bar
Because our post on Wal-Mart going organic was so popular, while being somewhat controversial, TreeHugger is interested to hear what the smaller food companies have to say. It seems some problems with these larger companies making their own organic foods have already begun. Last month, Clif Bar noted that they had issues in fulfilling its supply of organic nuts (and they are a $90 million company). This week, TreeHugger is going to be speaking with Clif Bar CEO Sheryl O’Loughlin on this subject. We've raved about Clif Bar in the past and have posted about how they've been big on educating the public whether it be skiers or cyclists. Sheryl is currently working with Organic Exchange to develop collaboration within the organic food industry so that the industry can work with farmers to expand the supply of organic ingredients. Organic Exchange, a non-profit, pioneered this collaborative approach in the organic clothing industry. Sheryl is hoping to extend the collaborative model to organic foods. It’s simply not sustainable if every company tries to lock up long-term contracts with a limited array of suppliers, while smaller manufacturers get squeezed out on price and quantity. TreeHugger found this article from BusinessWeek Online about profits and pitfalls of going organic, and they highlight Clif Bar and Sheryl's setbacks. As we started to prepare our list of questions for Sheryl, we thought we’d ask you, our dear readers, what you want to learn from this interview. Please, share your ideas with us!