Inclusive teams build more powerful brands. And despite this fundamental fact, many consumer brands have a lot of work ahead.

Dedicated to raising awareness and driving real change in the natural products industry, the OSC² J.E.D.I. Collaborative is committed to fostering justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within the industry.

“As an industry of innovators and leaders in our food and agricultural systems, we have a vital business challenge facing us — a lack of diversity of human ingenuity, perspective, and talent,” the newly launched J.E.D.I Collaborative told Natural Products Insider. “Unless we work to overcome it, we will not be able to forge breakthroughs into new systems, products, and services to best meet the demands of our customers in an increasingly multicultural America. With an industry-wide commitment to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion (J.E.D.I), we can and will attract the best people, the best ideas, and the best way forward toward a more just and prosperous future for all.”

The collective aims to leverage its educational platform to inspire brands to commit to building more diverse, inclusive companies. The benefits of doing so are clear:

• Companies with organizational diversity yield 21 percent higher financial performance and 27 percent higher likelihood of long-term value creation (McKinsey and Co.’s “Delivering Growth Through Diversity”)
• Inclusive organizations enjoy 300 percent revenue growth (“A Great Place to Work for All” by Michael C Bush and the Great Place to Work Research Team)
• Diverse teams are more likely to question assumptions, remain objective and yield more dynamic innovation (“A Great Place to Work for All,” by Michael C Bush and the Great Place to Work Research Team)
• There is a 44 percent jump in average share price for companies with diverse boards versus 13 percent with no diversity (“No More All-White, All Male Boards” by Aimee Picche)

The challenges across the natural products industry are numerous. According to the JEDI Collaborative and New Hope Network Benchmarking Survey December 2019, today’s natural and organic consumers are predominantly white (73 percent).

The survey, which asked roughly 220 industry leaders to share insights into their collective 1,000 leaders, 725 board of directors, 220 CEOs, and 210 founders, found that industry leadership teams were prominently made up of white men. Leadership members are 84 percent white and 57 percent male.

We can do better.

The collective asks those who wish to help make positive differences within the industry to commit to making a change or contribute to the organization by donating to it. Learn more about J.E.D.I here.