Organic grain miller goes employee-owned
In “Chewing the Scenery,” we round up interesting food-related video from around the Web.
For years, Oregon-based Bob’s Red Mill products have a been a staple of food co-ops and natural-food supermarkets. The company puts out a variety of top-quality, stone-ground organic grain products: from flours to grits to “bear mush” hot cereals. Now that CEO/founder Bob Moore is ready to start thinking about a succession plan, he probably could have cashed in nicely by selling out to some conglomerate looking for organic cachet–and a slice of one of the food industry’s few true growth areas. Instead, he did something infinitely more interesting–and better for the Milwaukie, Oregon, community where the company employs 209 people. He took the company employee-owned, ABC News reports. In doing so, he’s creating a durable, national-level institution whose profits remain and percolate broadly within a local economy. Moore is creating a model wherein national-level food businesses can generate broadly distributed wealth within communities, whereas now they mainly extract wealth from communities and concentrate it in the hands of a few shareholders. I’ll be commenting on this more soon; for now, watch the video. (Hat tip to Civil Eats.)