Vital Farms Publishes First Sustainability Report

Vital Farms’ traceability program makes it possible for consumers to see and appreciate the small family farms that their eggs come from. Courtesy of Vital Farms.

Austin, TX—Vital Farms has published its inaugural Sustainability Report, an overview of the company’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) progress with respect to each of its stakeholders, including farmers and suppliers, crew members, customers and consumers, communities and the environment, and stockholders.

Opening the report, President and CEO Russell Diez-Canseco gave this overview of the business: “We have become the leading pasture-raised egg brand in the U.S. by retail dollar sales and have continued to see growth in our butter business, while progressing toward our purpose of improving the lives of people, animals, and the planet every day. We have created high-quality jobs for our crew members, provided meaningful economic opportunities for family farmers, enabled millions of hens to spend their days outdoors, strengthened communities, and raised the standards of food production for households across the country.”

The report puts numbers to the business’s success, explains their commitment to “conscious capitalism,” the farmer onboarding process, covers how they’re working to support farmer diversity, lists the employee benefits they provide and how they support employees, their work on DEI, and more. Some facts and figures:

  • Vital Farms is the #1 U.S. Pasture-Raised Egg Brand, and the #2 U.S. Overall Egg Brand
  • In 2021, the company saw net revenues of $261M, and gross profits of $83M.
  • The company uses a network of over 275 farms, covering over 3.4M hens
  • In 2021, Vital Farms made investments in the National Young Farmers Coalition and Farmer Veteran Coalition, two organizations working to build a more equitable food system.
  • All butter and ghee products are from cows raised on family farms that follow the Five Freedoms, recognized as the gold standard for animal welfare.
  • All employees are paid at least 25% above living wage, and Vital Farms provides a full benefits package from the day they join, including health insurance–medical, dental, vision, HSA, life insurance–PTO, 401(k) matching, and quarterly bonus eligibility.
  • In 2021, the company transitioned to a remote workforce for employees who could do so, after the employees made their preference for remote work clear.
  • At Egg Central Station, where the eggs are processed, the company had seven reported injuries. Vital Farms has worked to ensure safety, including automating physically challenging processes; including windows for natural light, climate control to keep temperatures comfortable, and slip resistant floors; partnering with a local sports medicine practice to have a personal trainer come in weekly to help employees with ergonomics; and implementing an “idea board” where employees can share their ideas regarding improving their experience at Vital Farms, which has resulted in implementation of 30% of their ideas to date.
  • The National Diversity Council found zero pay, promotion, or performance inequitie among employees.
  • 2021 saw the hiring of a Head of DEI in order to increase diversity.
  • The company’s Traceability product feature has received over 600,000 views to date.
  • In 2021, the company had 28,149 interactions on social media, of which 97% were positive praise for the brand.
  • The hybrid egg cartons are made from 100% recycled material and have a carbon neutral lid, which has saved over 33,000 trees since launch. The PET egg cartons are made from 100% recycled material.
  • In 2021, the company donated over 588,000 pounds of food to Ozarks Food Harvest, providing over 490,000 meals to food insecure families in southwest Missouri.

The full report can be viewed here.

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“While ESG is a relatively new journey for us, we have a long history of prioritizing areas like environmental conservation, human capital, community, and much more through our business model, which is rooted in stakeholder capitalism,” said Joanne Bal, Vital Farms’ General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and Head of Environmental, Social, and Governance, in the press release. “Our inaugural Sustainability Report is a detailed and data-driven look at the impact we’ve had on each of our stakeholder groups, demonstrating how we’ve grown our business while progressing our purpose to improve the lives of people, animals, and the planet through food. We look forward to the next phase of this work by publishing concrete, measurable goals for our top ESG issues, developing operational plans to meet these targets, and publicly reporting our progress.”