How an Oregon Winery Created Real Wines of Distinction

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Finding great growing conditions, harvesting the right grapes and overseeing it all with the artistry of a seasoned winemaker usually gets a winery noticed. But in the case of Archer Vineyard, the winery went a step beyond.

Not long ago, it became a certified Benefit Corporation for Good. Which means Archer is now guided by the Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet and Profit. So you’ll see those values in their award-winning tempranillos, pinot noirs and roses.

We interviewed General Manager Sara Jivanjee recently about becoming a certified Oregon Benefit Company. Here’s what she had to say about it, her motivation for doing it and why it was right for her winery.

1.      What motivated you to become a Benefit Company?

I was motivated to become a “Benefit Corporation for Good” (BCFG) based on the core values that are reflected with this certification. At Archer, we work to be genuine and transparent in our business practices which were directly aligned to BCFG. The process also gave us a better understanding of the B Corp requirements and improvements we could explore as we grow our business. 

2.  Was it difficult getting internal support for moving toward this model?

We have a strong foundation set within our family’s business practices, so becoming a Benefit Company was a natural next step for us. We are a multi-cultural, social justice and purpose-driven family. I am open-minded in changing practices and creating more transparency in our processes with our customers, employees, and vendors.

3. How long did it take you to officially become a certified Benefit Corporation for Good?

Around 2 hours total from deciding to do it, to being certified. Not difficult and worth every minute. 

4. Have you seen any change in culture since you became a Benefit Company?

Our customers are intrigued when they see our seal as a certified “Benefit Corporation for Good.” Many in our community of supporting businesses and vendors have shown interest in the process and how it relates to “B Corp,” so it is nice to share what I have learned through the process. 

5. Have you experienced any positive outcomes since becoming a Benefit Company?

Not directly but it heightened our focus for the opportunity to become a B Corp after seeing our positive results from completing the BCFG process. 

6. Would you recommend this business model to others? Why or why not?

Yes. Since we were practicing many of the core values of BCFG it made sense for our business to complete the certification process. We have implemented several strategies recommended after the completion of the survey in areas where we could use improvement.  For example, we have added a comment card drop box and guest book for our customers to leave us feedback on their experience, either anonymously or publicly. And since our certification with BCFG, many people have expressed interest when seeing the window cling we proudly display on our door. 

7. What is the most important trait to have as a conscientious leader of a Benefit Company?

The most important traits for a conscientious leader are to be purpose-driven and practice inclusiveness. The Triple Bottom Line, People, Planet, Profit is part of my everyday awareness now!

8. What lessons have you learned in the process?

I didn't learn anything new rather it was more about confirming that we are on the right track as we grow and explore ideas to add to current practices.

9. Is being a Benefit Company part of your current brand message?

It is a part of the story we share with customers when they visit us.

10. What is the single best reason you'd give for another company or peer to become a Benefit Company?

Just the simple assessment of current practices. And to understand and focus more on B Corp requirements and direction if that is the goal beyond BCFG certification.

You can learn more about Archer Vineyard here.

If you want to know more about why your business should become a benefit corporation, watch this. If you want to understand the 6 simple steps to becoming an Oregon Benefit Company, go here.

~benefitcorporationsforgood.com~

Tom Hering