Gary Hirshberg is the husband of writer Meg Hirshberg and the father of three yogurt eaters. He is Co-Founder and Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World (Hyperion, 2008). Gary frequently speaks on topics including sustainability, organic agriculture and the profitability of green business.
Since 1983, Gary has overseen Stonyfield’s growth, from its infancy as a seven-cow organic farming school to its current $360 million in annual sales. Stonyfield has enjoyed a compounded annual growth rate of over 23% over 21 years, by consistently producing great-tasting products and using innovative marketing that blends the company’s social, environmental, and financial missions. Stonyfield entered into a partnership with Danone in 2001, and Gary is now Managing Director of Stonyfield Europe, with organic brands in Canada, Ireland, and France.
Gary serves on several corporate and non-profit boards including Applegate Farms, Honest Tea, Peak Organic Brewing, The Full Yield, Climate Counts, SweetGreen, RAMp Sports, Glenisk, and the Danone Communities Fund. He is the chairman and co-founder of Stonyfield Café, a natural fast food restaurant firm. In 2011, President Obama appointed Gary to serve on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. He is also co-chair of AGree an agricultural policy initiative formed by the Ford, Gates, Kellogg, Rockefeller, Walton Family and other leading foundations.
Recently, he has helped to lead the consumer drive to require genetically engineered foods to be labeled. He is a founding Partner of Just Label It, We Have the Right to Know, the national campaign dedicated to labeling genetically engineered foods, and is co-author of Label It Now – What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Foods (New Word City, 2012), the first consumer guide to foods that have been genetically altered. All proceeds from the electronic book benefit Just Label It.
Gary has received nine honorary doctorates and numerous awards for corporate and environmental leadership. He was named a Gordon Grand Fellow at Yale, one of “America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs” by Business Week and one of the top ten, “most inspiring people in sustainable food.” by Fast Company. Gary was also featured in the successful 2009 documentary film, "Food, Inc." And you can see him in the “Just Eat Organic” Rap Video he wrote and performed on YouTube.
Stonyfield has garnered several prestigious awards over the past few years including EPA Clean Air Excellence (2009), “Business of the Decade – Manufacturing & Technology” (Business NH Magazine), “2010 Top 10 Leaders of Change Award” (The Foundation for Social Change and UN Office for Partnerships), “One of the Five Best Large Companies to Work for in New Hampshire” (Business NH Magazine & NH Businesses for Social Responsibility, 2010), “Best Environmentally Friendly/’Green’ Business (New Hampshire Business Review, 2011), and the Institute of Packaging Professionals AmeriStar Award for Stonyfield’s Plant-based Yogurt Cup (2011).
Previously, he directed the Rural Education Center, the small organic farming school from which Stonyfield was spawned and Executive Director of The New Alchemy Institute – a research and education center dedicated to organic farming, aquaculture, and renewable energy. Before that he was a water-pumping windmill specialist and an environmental education director with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He also authored books on wind-power and organic gardening.
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