Better Together: How Driscoll's Connects Thousands of Lives As One Family
Driscoll's works hand in hand with thousands of independent farmers, harvesters, grocers, and everyone in between. Rooted in community, the company's recent launch of One Family aims to tell the stories of the many people involved in growing and sustainining the leading berry company. Below, hear from Driscoll's Corporate Social Responsibility Marketing Manager, Alison O'Shaughnessy, on the launch of One Family and why it matters.
I feel far from my food. I think a lot of people can agree. City living gives way to complicated supply chains that make it difficult to feel a connection to the people who grow what we eat -- and that’s why I sought a career in agriculture. I was hungry to uncover what goes into bringing fresh fruit to our world every day.
After working at Driscoll’s for just a few weeks, I learned just why they had become the leading berry company. It wasn’t their knack for complicated logistics and data management, but a dedication to their people. I was hired to begin telling that story.
Before I was hired, I was surprised to learn two things -- that Driscoll’s is family-owned and operated for over 100 years, and that we don’t grow our own berries. We specialize in the proprietary varieties, and then we hand those off to over 700 independent growers that range in size to do what they do best. We also rely on grocers (many of which are small, independent stores) to sell our product. Once sold, about 85% of the revenue goes back to the growers. This mutual dependence and shared success led to an understanding -- that we are all better together; that we are an interwoven family greater than the sum of its parts.
Starting late in 2018, we set out to tell Driscoll’s unique story and communicate our vision with the world: to enrich the lives of everyone we touch. This was difficult. One of our values is humility, so talking about ourselves felt alien. It felt natural, instead, to peer through the eyes of those who grow, pick, and sell our berries. This resulted in a platform called “One Family,” centered around three intimate and connected portraits of a grower, a harvester, and a grocer. Each has a unique story of hard work, dedication, love, setbacks, and success. This gives us a brief, but powerful glimpse into the people behind the berries. And this is just the start – I’m excited to uncover and share even more stories that help us feel just a little bit closer to our food.
Alison O'Shaughnessy is the Corporate Social Responsibility Marketing Manager at Driscoll's, a proud sponsor of the 2019 Net Impact Conference. Sign up now for the chance to meet Alison and her team in Detroit, Michigan on October 24-26, 2019.