In a year filled with unforeseen hardships, Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) remained focused on its established stewardship commitments and lending a helping hand to those in need. Details of the year's activities are featured in the Tillamook "Good is Something We Make Together" Stewardship Report available at Tillamook.com/Stewardship.
"TCCA's stewardship commitments inform every decision we make. For our farmer-owners, stewardship has always meant coming together for the people, places, and animals that we care for," said Patrick Criteser, president and CEO, TCCA. "During a tumultuous year, our focus on stewardship served as both our foundation and our guide."
TCCA abides by six key stewardship pillars including: thriving farms, healthful cows, enduring ecosystems, inspired consumers, fulfilled employees and enriched communities. For TCCA, these priorities represent areas of dedication, accomplishment and continual improvement.
"Stewardship remains at the heart and soul of TCCA and who we are as a 112-year-old, farmer-owned cooperative," said Paul Snyder, executive vice president, Stewardship, TCCA. "As a co-op, TCCA has structured its business to be a force for good in the world, and we live this value each day."
As an example, when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the lives of employees and the people who live and work in the communities where TCCA operates, the co-op stepped up with a $4 million COVID-19 relief fund. The funds provided direct support to local businesses in the rural hometowns of Tillamook and Morrow counties. Multiple stories of those who were helped by the COVID-19 relief efforts are featured on the stewardship section of the Tillamook website.
Additional highlights of TCCA's 2020 stewardship efforts, include:
• Donating $1.6 million through the "All For Farmers" initiative. In September, Tillamook donated 10 percent of profits to provide 130 grants to farmers across the country and to protect at-risk farmland through a partnership with American Farmland Trust.
• Complying with the Farm Animal Welfare Program (FARM) with 100 percent participation. All milk used in Tillamook products came from suppliers that adopted the stricter, more rigorous FARM 4.0 industry-leading animal care standards.
• Becoming a Certified B Corporation®. Tillamook earned the distinguished B Corp certification representing a collective effort to build a purpose-driven company committed to doing good.
• Reducing water use by 4 million gallons. Tillamook dramatically reduced water consumption at the Tillamook manufacturing facility – representing a 2.7 percent net reduction over the previous year.
• Joining the global fight against food waste. The co-op teamed up with major retailer, Kroger, and hundreds of suppliers worldwide to commit to a 50 percent reduction of food waste in Tillamook operations by 2030.
• Being recognized for sustainable procurement practices. Winning the 2020 Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council Award validated Tillamook's commitment to traceability and transparency across its entire supply chain.
• Doubling the number of leaders of color since 2018. Tillamook also increased the percentage of women in director-level roles by 6 percent. To date, 18 percent of Tillamook directors and above are people of color and 43 percent of employees at the manager level and above are women.
• Dedicating a total of 8,516 paid volunteer hours. Tillamook employees contributed thousands of service hours to various causes and organizations in the local communities.
• Contributing $1.2 million worth of Tillamook products to food security organizations, including the Oregon Food Bank, as well as to first responders and school districts. In a year where hunger doubled, Tillamook donated the equivalent of 340,000 meals, an increase of more than 450 percent from 2019
• Pitching in for first responders. When wildfires reached Tillamook County, Tillamook served 500 free to-go meals for first responders in just four days.
"We are proud of what we have accomplished, inspired by how we have served our farmer-owners, employees and the communities where we operate, and humbled and motivated by the work that lies ahead," said Snyder.