Plum Organics becomes the first B-Corp to be acquired by a Publicly Traded Company

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Plum Organics lists their values as:

Plum Organic's Promise

They have a program – The Full Effect™ – that donates organic food to “little ones in need across America”.

Now they have a new distinction.

The first Certified B-Corp to become a subsidiary of a publicly traded company

The country’s #1 organic baby food company – was acquired by Campbell Soup Co (CPB), making it the first Certified B Corp to be acquired by a Fortune 500. Plum is now the first wholly owned subsidiary of a publicly traded company to be incorporated as a benefit corporation.

Campbell’s move helps it keep up with competitors.  Quick run-down of other recent acquisitions of competing brands:

  • Happy Family Brands by Groupe Danone (BN, parent of Dannon USA) of Paris
  • BluePrint and Ella’s Kitchen by Hain Celestial (HAIN)
  • Attune Foods and Hearthside Food Solutions by Post Holdings (POST)

3 Things this First Means to Investors Like You

1. B-corp is a meaningful designation

The acquisition helps validate the certification process that B-corp uses.

They have come a long way from the first day in 2006 when,

“On an excel spreadsheet, the first version of what will become the B Impact Assessment is created, synthesizing the best practices in socially responsible business from Ben Cohen and Mal Warwick’s SVN book, Betsy Power’s work with Natural Capital Institute, and the small company version of the Global Reporting Initiative reporting standards” – B-corp, Our History

2. Understanding corporate Social and Environmental responsibility remains complex

Campbell’s acquisition indicates they may have an interest in responsibility. But they may just care about the market opportunity, failing our Meaning Test.

One indicator that this may be the case?

According to the Buy Partisan app, which lets you see corporate political donations, Campbell Soup donations are almost 60% Republican, 23% Democrat and 17% other. The CEO’s donation’s are 84% Republican. That doesn’t mean the company isn’t serious about people and planet, but it is a good reason to dig deeper.

2. Social and Environmental Good Represents Market Opportunity

Campbell is recognizing the growing voice – and dollars – of people who care about social and environmental impact.

We are not going away. In fact, we are getting stronger.

That means strong investing prospects for Changemakers. And that companies that don’t recognize our value will continue to get squeezed.