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Our Pillars of Sustainability

As a family company in business for 100 years, we pride ourselves on our commitment to running our operations responsibly, and with consideration of the impact we have on the environment, our employees and stakeholders. It’s how we’ve always run our business and how we will continue to do so in the future to help ensure another 100 years of success.

Scenic countryside with fields
Looking out over a valley of tea fields in Sri Lanka.

Sustainable from the start

We are an original signatory to the IFRA-IOFI sustainability charter, a voluntary framework which outlines the collective commitment of the fragrance and flavor industry to making a difference for the planet, people and business. The charter is an important reflection of the collaborative effort of our industry and we are proud to be a part of a consortium of responsibly minded organizations. Our company is also registered with Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX), a platform to create more socially and environmentally sustainable businesses and supply chains.

In addition to our alignment with the IRA-IOFI charter, we have also taken strides to better understand our own impact on people and the planet. We recently conducted a materiality analysis with key stakeholders, including employees, customers, and suppliers, to understand what they perceived to be Virginia Dare’s biggest opportunities for impact. The information we gathered provided valuable feedback that allowed us to categorize and prioritize our efforts across four areas: Responsible Sourcing, People, Ethics and Transparency, and, our Environmental Footprint.

Responsible sourcing.

Our business depends on sourcing quality raw materials which we use to develop our products. At our behest, suppliers work to ensure their business practices align with ours.

Cocoa beans provide flavoring for wellness

We require each of our suppliers to sign our Code of Conduct and our Supplier Expectations, which outlines the behavior we expect of them, including a commitment to no child labor, health and safety standards, and anti-corruption practices. Suppliers are required to sign these documents each year as a reflection of their commitment.

All of the products we sell reflect our commitment to the highest regulatory standards and ethical sourcing practices. We offer numerous responsible sourcing certifications including Fair Trade Certified™ and Quality Assurance International Organic Certified.

Vanilla + Sustainability

We are known for our global leadership in the vanilla market and for our exceptional products derived from this raw material, including extracts, concentrates, and oleoresins. Key to our capabilities is our unique, on the ground sourcing model in Madagascar, which allows us to maintain a direct connection to the vanilla farming communities who are integral to our mutual success.

Tea, Cocoa, and Coffee

We source tea, cocoa and coffee from growing regions around the world. We uphold the highest ethical sourcing standards for these ingredients and pursue certifications where possible to support our commitment to responsible sourcing, including the Ethical Tea Partnership and Fair Trade.

lavor concentrates for beverages that support mood
Pink strawberry icecream popsicle

Our Environmental Footprint.

Our newly built facility in Carteret, New Jersey brings together offices, laboratories, and manufacturing, and was designed with efficiency and the environment in mind.

  • Energy use and GHG emissions: We work to conserve energy use where we can through the use of LED lighting in all our buildings and automatic shut-off mechanisms on idle equipment.
  • Water: Our primary use of water is to clean and sanitize equipment. Although our facility is not in a water-stressed location, we continually look for ways to further reduce our water use, as we recognize the importance of conserving this important natural resource.
  • Waste / recycling: We look to minimize our waste by using fewer materials and by increasing the amount of material we can recycle. We also find innovative ways to repurpose waste. For example, 100% of our spent tea, coffee, cocoa and vanilla is upcycled. Hazardous waste is disposed of according to all local laws and regulations and we provide training for employees on proper disposal.
Pink strawberry icecream popsicle

Ethics & Transparency.

An ethical business begins with its employees. We have an employee code of conduct which employees are required to sign, in addition to mandatory training on topics such as anti-bribery and anti-harassment. In addition, our whistleblower policy allows any employee to anonymously report incidents of misconduct without fear of retaliation.

Product Safety

We uphold the highest regulatory standards and ethical sourcing of all our products and ingredients. We are audited by third parties including BRC (primarily focused on food safety); QAI (for our organic certifications) and SMETA (as part of our participation in SEDEX). Our recent rating (2023) on an unannounced BRC audit was an AA+, the highest level of achievement

We maintain active participation and leadership roles in the following associations: