A Letter from Our CEO, Blair Kellison
Fiscal year 2016 marks Traditional Medicinals’ 42nd year in business. It was an outstanding year for the company, and I couldn’t be prouder of our team and the results we accomplished, including record sales, record profits, and record investments in sustainability. It’s a core principle at TM that growth in sales and profits leads to growth in the positive impact we have on our stakeholders, and 2016 was a strong testament to that principle.
One area of intense activity in 2016 was in Operations, where we invested in equipment to make us more efficient and in people to improve our sourcing, forecasting, manufacturing and distribution processes. The results speak for themselves. While we sold 12.7% more product in 2016, we purchased only 0.4% more herbs, and we actually purchased 6% less packaging by weight. Leaner operations enable us to be more competitive and efficient, which in turn allows us to expand our social and environmental investments at a faster rate than our sales growth. Here are a few highlights from the year that we are especially proud of, and we invite you to browse the report here for more details:
- We became the original tea company to earn Non-GMO Project Verification for our tea bags and strings, thanks to our collaborations with supply chain and certification partners.
- We converted more tea bag manufacturing to replace staples with knots, eliminating over 200 million staples from production annually.
- Almost 99% of our herbs purchased in 2016 were certified organic, with almost 500,000 pounds that were either Fair Trade or FairWild-certified.
- This was our first full year to run on 100% local renewable power, and we were honored to win a Green Power Leadership Award from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Sustainability is at the core of our mission, so as our company grows, so too does our positive impact, allowing more people to earn fair wages and have a greater quality of life, while converting more of the planet to responsible, organic farming practices. Thank you for your interest in our annual Sustainability Report. We hope our success inspires others to incorporate more sustainable practices into their business which benefit our stakeholders in the global community. We look forward to finding ways to improve so that we may continue this good work for at least another 42 years.
— Blair Kellison, CEO