Moonshot – founded two years ago by Julia Collins – produces carbon-neutral crackers.
It works with wheat farmers in Washington State who grow organically – avoiding petroleum-based fertilizers and chemical pesticides – using regenerative practices like planting cover crops, reducing tillage and rotating crops to build up healthy microbes in the soil and potentially sequester more carbon.
The wheat is traceable to the field and all in the supply chain – from farmer to miller and the manufacturer – are based within 100 miles of each other, resulting in a lower carbon footprint.
Moonshot also uses renewable energy in a LEED-certified facility, while its recyclable packaging is made with 100% recycled materials.
Shooting for the moon
“I founded Moonshot with the vision of using the power of food to help tackle climate change,” said Collins, noting the company was named to emulate its mission is to ‘shoot for the moon by taking a bite out of climate change, one cracker at a time.’
Taking it one step further, Collins built a platform called Planet FWD, helping other companies and brands to do the same.
“To us, it’s not one action, but taking a full inventory of your company’s impact on the planet so you can holistically evaluate where you can make adjustments and drive change. It all starts with measuring your baseline carbon footprint so you can create an action plan from there and track progress year over year,” said Collins.
Owned by the Earth
Sausalito-based Patagonia Provision, too, sources ingredients that rebuild soil, protect the heath of ocean ecosystems and protect the environment.
It was one of the first companies to partner with the Rodale Institute in support of Regenerative Organic Certification. Its parent company – a certified B-Corporation – stopped providing branded clothing to companies that damaged the environment and takes back used Patagonia apparel for upcycling into other products in its ReCrafted Collection.
Last year, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and family shareholders transferred their ownership to the Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the planet.
“Instead of going public, you could say we’re going purpose. Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth for investors, we’ll use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth,” said Chouinard on the company’s website.
Collins said, “By joining Patagonia Provisions – which recently made Earth its only shareholder – Moonshot now belongs to the planet. I cannot imagine a more spectacular path forward for our mission, our team and our climatarian community.”
Added Paul Lightfoot, Patagonia Provisions’ GM, “Moonshot has achieved impressive growth by producing and selling delicious and nutritious crackers with a materially improved carbon footprint compared to industry standard practices.
“Moonshot’s values and mission are strongly aligned with Patagonia Provisions, which made it easy to warmly welcome their people onto our team.”
This acquisition – Patagonia’s first in more than 20 years – is part of its strategy to boost its food division, investing in like-minded businesses and products.
“Patagonia doesn’t always follow conventional thinking,” said Lightfoot.
“We are, at heart, still a gear and apparel company, but [our] mission is really simple and clear – to save our planet. Yvon and the rest of the leadership team believe that food should be the most important lever that we can pull toward fulfilling that mission.
“There are a lot of consumers out there who want to make choices that make them feel like they’ve [play] a role. That’s going to create one of the greatest market demand opportunities for food companies.”
He added, “We think there’s no better way to serve a wake-up call to the food industry than to watch their market share dwindle toward food that’s better for the planet.”
Patagonia’s NPD team, for example, is experimenting with kernza – a perennial grain with long roots that can help build soil health and helps to capture carbon from the air – used to make items like beer and pasta.
However, not every experiment goes smoothly: it wanted to use breadfruit because of its environmental and social benefits, but eventually discontinued a line of breadfruit crackers because of quality issues.
Moonshot’s crackers will join Patagonia’s 28-strong F&B portfolio – with items like smoked mackerel, dried mango and kelp salsa – sold online and in retail like Whole Foods across the US.
Lightfood believes the F&B division will grow quickly and will eventually rival the apparel side.
“We think that anywhere there are parts of the food system that are extractive and destructive, we have a role to play in creating a counterbalancing set of food products that are regenerative,” he said.
“We don’t seek growth for its own sake. But we recognise that to have an impact, we have to scale. So this probably will be a part of the company that grows a lot over the next 5 to 10 years.”