How B Corps Make a Difference: A Q&A With The FruitGuys

Head of Impact Sheila Cassani holding a "#GrowGood" sign

March is National B Corp Month, and to kick off the festivities we sat down with The FruitGuys’ Head of Impact, Sheila Cassani. We brought a few FAQs about B Corps with us — and Sheila shared her answers. Read on to hear her thoughts on what a B Corp is, how B Corps make a difference, why we became one, and more. 

What is a B Corp? 

B Corp PearGuys Logo

B Corps are for-profit businesses that meet the highest standards of independently verified social and environmental performance, accountability, and public transparency. What a mouthful!

Becoming a Certified B Corp isn’t easy. To earn the certification, you have to let the nonprofit network B Lab put your business under a microscope. They judge your company’s worthiness based on everything from your employee benefits to your charitable giving and the sustainability of your supply chain. The analysis can take months, but its results are definitive. 

“B Corp Certification shows the world what your company actually stands for, and shows that it has been vetted and verified by an independent third party standard,” Sheila said. “There’s an important layer of trust and credibility there.”

You can see The FruitGuys’ exact B Impact Score from B Lab here.  

Why does the B Corp Certification matter? 

If you care about the wellbeing of other people and the planet, B Corp Certification can point you toward businesses that share your values. 

“As consumers with purchasing power, we vote with our dollars, and many of us choose to spend them with companies that are embracing environmental sustainability and truly benefiting people,” Sheila said. “Supporting B Corps and doing business with those companies is a direct action we can take as individuals that’s in line with our values.” 

How do B Corps make a difference?

“Every B Corp acts as a force for good in the world, but they all do it in their own unique way,” Sheila said. “Here at The FruitGuys, for example, we donate a minimum value of 20% of our annual profits to relieve hunger and support small farms.”

Farmers at Garden-Raised Bounty planting
Farmers at Garden-Raised Bounty, a 2023 FruitGuys Community Fund grantee in Olympia, WA, working to expand their perennial berry production and improve weed management

Our 2023 Impact Report is coming soon — but here’s a sneak peek at the numbers. 

In 2023, we:

  • Fed 677,123 people through our weekly donations
  • Diverted 315 tons of CO2 emissions by donating produce
  • Awarded 18 grants for sustainability projects to small farms and agricultural nonprofits
  • Helped our generous clients feed 40,972 people via our Donate-a-Crate Program

To learn more about The FruitGuys’ B Corp values, check out this page of our website, where you can find our latest Impact Report. 

Holding The FruitGuys Donations
FruitGuys donation recipients holding fresh fruit

Other B Corps have their own initiatives to help people and the planet. Our B Corp snack partner Hippie Snacks, for example, donates to local food banks, gives its employees three paid days off each year to volunteer, and donates a minimum of 5% of its profits to “community projects that have a positive, lasting impact on the environment and/or youth.”

If you’re curious about how a specific B Corp makes a difference, dig into their website and social media — or ask! Transparency is a core part of the B Corp Certification, so they should be happy to share. 

Why did The FruitGuys become a B Corp? 

FruitGuys CEO Erin Mittelstaedt holding a "# heart Family Farms" sign
FruitGuys CEO Erin Mittelstaedt

“The FruitGuys has been a mission-driven company since our founding, but B Corp Certification has helped us to expand that mission,” Sheila explained. “It pushes us to think about our broader impact across multiple categories of the business and how we can strategize for positive change not only for the community, but for our team members, our planet, our clients, and our own governance.”

When The FruitGuys became a B Corp in 2019, we didn’t just add the B Corp logo to our website. We dug deep into our company foundations and amended our business structure to reflect our commitment to our mission and to be legally accountable to all of our stakeholders.

“The B Corp Certification holds our organization accountable to the commitments we’ve made to environmental and social impact, and embedding that in our business structure was an important step in the process,” Sheila said. 

Why is B Corp Month worth celebrating? 

“All of these efforts don’t happen in a vacuum. They happen through collaboration and getting best practices and buy-in from multiple stakeholders. That’s how you can really drive lasting systemic change,” Sheila said. 

FruitGuys Future-Forward Office Snacks for B Corp Month

The theme of B Corp Month 2024 is “This Way Forward,” and it reminds us that B Corp businesses aren’t stagnant; They’re constantly striving for improvement. That idea really resonates for Sheila. 

“You don’t arrive at impact — impact is ever-evolving,” she said. “I’m excited to celebrate B Corp Month in community with other B Corps and reignite our commitment to constantly reevaluate how our businesses can drive positive change.” 

Throughout B Corp Month, The FruitGuys will celebrate our fellow B Corps here on our blog and on social media. We hope to see you there!


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