Local Sourcing in Action: GoMacro’s Partnership with Maple Valley
Part of our mission at GoMacro is to support suppliers who are setting the standard for responsible growing practices around the world. All of our suppliers must share our commitment to producing ingredients that are Certified Organic, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Kosher, non-GMO, and of course, taste delicious – and we’re pretty picky!
So, when we found a supplier that met all our criteria and produced their maple products locally to our Wisconsin manufacturing facility, it was just the icing – or should we say maple sugar – on the cake.
Maple Valley, a cooperative of over 30 maple farmers, is headquartered in Cashton, WI, just 25 miles from GoMacro’s headquarters in Viola, WI. The cooperative produces Certified Organic, Vegan, and Kosher maple products crafted in small batches, with delicious taste profiles. They’re also the farmers behind the delicious maple sugar found within our Maple Sea Salt MacroBars!
A Cooperative with a Conscience
The same way that great chocolate requires the highest-quality cocoa beans, it also takes dedicated maple farmers to make the best maple products.
To become part of the cooperative, Maple Valley's farmer members, most of whom are multi-generational family farms, must ensure that their maple woodland environment stays intact to provide habitat for diverse wildlife and prevention of erosion. Maple trees are minimally tapped so they stay healthy and can produce for up to 200 years. That’s a lot of carbon sequestration for the good of the planet and people! In return for their dedication to quality and stewardship, the co-op offers the farmers fair prices and competitive wages.
In addition to the cooperative's commitments to on-farm stewardship, Maple Valley is also committed to overall business sustainability. In fact, the energy used at their main office and bottling facility is offset through a partnership with the Cashton Greens Wind Farm, which separately provides a portion of GoMacro’s wind power!
Meet Maple Farmer Cecil Wright
For a glimpse into the care and commitment of Maple Valley’s farmers, look no further than Cecil Wright, one of Maple Valley’s founding farmers. Cecil followed his lifelong love of nature to a career in forest management. However, the common practice of using harmful chemicals to manage forest growth didn't align with his values. Ever mindful of the connection between our food systems and the health of people and the planet, Cecil redirected his efforts toward something he could feel good about - organic maple syrup production.
While Maple Valley Cooperative has roots in Ohio where he was raised, Cecil purchased his own maple woods in Southwest Wisconsin to supply the business. In 2007, Cecil transitioned Maple Valley into a multi-stakeholder cooperative, offering a business model that is sustainable for both the forests and the farmers.
Cecil’s passion for sustainable, environmentally friendly living is shared by his wife Sonya, his son Addisu and his daughter Lina, who enjoy living in their passive solar home (no furnace!) surrounded by beds of organic garden bounty in the summer. Cecil is instilling a love of the hills, valleys, and woods of Southwest Wisconsin in his children. They spend time on their 40 acres of woodlands in the shadows of the sugar maples that are anywhere between 50 and 150 years old.
“Maple farming gives me such deep satisfaction,” says Cecil. “To be able to work with nature, harvest her bounty respectfully, and produce pure, organic maple syrup...it’s a sweet job - pun intended! We’re honored to provide GoMacro with high-quality, single ingredient maple syrup products.”
A Pretty Sweet Partnership
Organic maple sugar from Maple Valley is used in GoMacro’s popular Maple Sea Salt MacroBars, with the potential for use in future products.
From their sustainable family farms and green energy initiatives to their incredible quality standards, Maple Valley is aligned with our own Tread Lightly Principle. So, the next time you take a bite of a GoMacro Maple Sea Salt MacroBar, you can enjoy it knowing the love and care that went into the goodness inside.