Overall it is clear that Amy’s mission is to provide healthy food to the most people possible, and that eating vegetarian is just as tasty as a meal with meat. There is a lot more that Amy’s can do to become a company that participates in a circular economy, and they feel that just by making vegetarian and vegan meals that is enough contribution to combating climate change. It is not. I do not think they are a bad company at all, I buy their products all the time, but we need to continue to put pressure on companies that think they are doing their part in protecting our future and show them what really needs to be done.
Amy’s is a family owned company whose mission is to provide healthy great tasting food to everyone. Many families rely on frozen meals to get through the week, and each Amy’s meal is enough to satisfy any hungry customer. Amy’s Kitchen only makes vegetarian and vegan meals in order to help consumers eat less meat, and be just as full. As we all know, eating meat has a massive environmental impact: from the water needed to grow the feed for the cows, to the methane that comes from the cow. By only making delicious vegetarian and vegan options, Amy’s is hoping to show consumers that great tasting meals don’t have to have meat. In regards to the vegetables that they do use, the vast majority of them are organically produced. Organic farming is better than conventional farming because it maintains the soil’s health so that it can be productive in the future, rather than stripping it of its fertility. Organic farming is more difficult to do because no pesticides can be used to keep away pests, and all of the farming practices have to benefit the natural ecosystem. Amy’s does not just have the organic certification, they helped create it. They have valued organic farming before it became a marketing tactic, and were crucial in creating the organic farming standards that are used today. Additionally, the majority of the farms they partner with are located in the U.S, which means there is less product travel within the supply chain. It was difficult just how many of their suppliers are outside of the U.S, which cost them points in my book. They also give all of their food scraps to local dairy farmers, so that creates a circular aspect of their food production. Overall, there’s not much more you can ask from a company to source all of their food ethically and organically.
In terms of the frozen meal isle in the grocery store, Amy’s is by far one of the healthiest and sustainable. Because of this, you would think that there is a lot of transparency in terms of their manufacturing and distribution, but of all of the reviews I have written, this was the hardest on which to find information. There are three production centers, all of which in the U.S, and they are making a factory in Portugal to handle all of the European demand. It is great that instead of shipping U.S product to Europe, the products will be made in Europe and shipped domestically. Beyond this concrete piece of information it was difficult to track down Amy’s sustainability progress. There is no corporate sustainability report, which is unusual for a multi million dollar company, and it was very difficult to find out exactly how many of their farms are in the U.S. and which of their goods are produced abroad. There is also little information about how much/if any renewable energy sources are used. All of their food has to be cooked, then frozen, then kept in a refrigerated truck, which takes a lot of energy. In an interview with the CEO, he talked about how packaging is one of the sustainability challenges they are facing. The outside packaging is cardboard and can be recycled, but each meal comes in a plastic covering for protection. I think that once bioplastics become commercially available, Amy’s will definitely be shifting to them because it is clear that a healthy environment is a pillar of the company. One possible reason for the lack of public information might be because they are a family run, privately held company, and have no shareholders to whom they have to be accountable. I don’t think that Amy’s is hiding information for malicious reasons, but it might just be because they feel as though they do not owe the public the same type of information as a publicly traded company does.
Rachel and Andy, the CEO’s of Amy’s Kitchen, have often said in interviews that they know all of their farmers by name and many of the people that work in their factories. The workers on the production floor have said that they feel like they are apart of Rachel and Andy’s family. The company has brought bilingual doctors to mobile clinics on their farms, to ensure that all of their workers are getting the healthcare they need. They also have a scholarship program for the children of their farm workers, to help them get a good education. Amy’s is a certified B Corp, which means they have implemented a system that values people, profit, and the planet.