Patagonia has always made sustainability a top priority of its clothing company, and this remains firm in its food products as well. On its website, it has interactive videos and pictures that consumers can view and learn more about where and how certain ingredients are grown. In fact, the company guarantees to work to fix the broken supply chain by “sourcing ingredients that are grown, raised, and harvested using methods that are friendly to our home planet.” While I have not tried this specific product, the reviews on its website seem to indicate it is a healthy and delicious snack. Further, Patagonia provides informative videos and blog posts about why Regenerative Organic Farming is so important and could help solve the climate crisis. In this way, Patagonia is not only creating delicious, sustainable foods but also informing consumers and encouraging eco-consciousness amongst their shoppers.
*This bar includes a short list of ingredients consisting of: Organic Dried Mango, Organic Dried Apple, Organic Almond, Organic Apple Juice Concentrate, Organic Baobab Fruit Powder, Organic Black Chia Seeds. The number one ingredient in these bars are dried mangoes. Patagonia’s mangoes are Regenerative Organic Certified, which is the highest standard for agriculture. What does that mean? Well it is a new certification that not only meets organic standards, but goes the next step above, ensuring that soil quality, worker health, and any animals involved all benefit from the production. This greatly improves the sustainability of these ingredients. However almonds, their third most prominent ingredient, require up to 1.1 gallons of water to produce a singular almond. As Patagonia’s almonds are certified organic, this does reduce the environmental impact as organic assures reduced water use and promotes health of bees as it is pesticide free. But the question is, do these benefits outweigh the consequences? I think comparatively, these bars are a great purchase.
For individuals with health restrictions, these bars are accommodating to most restrictions as they are vegan, vegetarian, have no artificial sweeteners or “refined sugar, corn syrup, preservatives, coloring, and chemical supplements.” In fact, these are also Non-GMO and gluten-free. In other words, these health conscious bars should be able to meet the dietary requirements of many individuals.
Patagonia is known to prioritize sustainability, and this emphasis does not stop with their food lines. It ensures that all of its farmers use regenerative practices so that the people who produce it, the animals who interact with the crops, and the soil itself are all considered and prioritized. Patagonia specifies that the mangoes and bananas in this product are grown in regenerative organic agroforests, which means the forests “imitate wild forests with multiple levels of trees, bushes, vines, and groundcover.” These practices not only nurture biodiversity but also help sequester carbon. The Sol Simple grown fruits are then picked up directly from the farm and transported to a site where they are processed using renewable solar energy and then sent to stores. I estimate a considerable amount of emissions are reduced due to the solar energy powered processing plant. However, being that its mangoes and bananas are sourced from Nicaragua, I am assuming that inevitably there are emissions from transportation that must be considered and thus lower its sustainability score. However, in comparison to its competitors, Patagonia is excelling with its sustainability practices and I would feel confident in my decision to select its bars as my snack.
* *Patagonia grows their mangoes in partnership with “Sol Simple, a Fair Trade Company” that works to empower “female farmers and single mothers.” As a collective of suppliers, processors, and farmers, Sol Simple is determined to generate social change and farming practices to help earth and its inhabitants. Not only does Sol Simple provide jobs, it also provides “hands-on training and educational support—especially for women.” In fact, a third of its farmers are women and through partnerships with schools and local governments, it helps to offer schooling for employees’ children. Therefore, this initiative helps secure gender equality and works to alleviate poverty throughout Nicaragua. Sol Simple can help serve as a sustainable model for other agricultural regions, promoting both healthy soils and better conditions for workers. With this strong initiative, I am sure that is is also mindful as to the treatment of its other farmers who are not in partnership with Sol Simple.