Our Environmental and Social Practices

We're a SMALL family-owned company taking LARGE steps to achieve a TINY footprint and ZERO waste. We deliver locally—up to 1,000 lbs at a time—to Eugene area stores with our two cargo tricycles. In 2017 we delivered over 300,000 lbs by bike!
  • We chose our Eugene Market District location to allow efficient delivery to our in-town customers.

Your Connection to the Source

We develop relationships with farmers so that we can provide ingredients that are:
  • Farm-direct
  • Organic, non-GMO, ethically sourced, fairly traded
  • Single sourced (from one family farm)
  • Identity preserved
  • From the Pacific Northwest
  • Transparent in origin and sourcing information
  • Helpful to people and the planet. Before purchasing, we consider the producer's growing, manufacturing and packaging practices, their social responsibility, the value they place on ethical relationships, and the product's contribution to health, vitality and well-being
  • NOT damaging to people (including indigenous cultures), flora, and fauna
We promote community and support small businesses.
  • We're pioneering Distributor Supported Agriculture (DSA), financially supporting farmers and sharing their risk
  • We act as a distributor for like-minded, organic food businesses
  • Our Incubator Kitchen fosters and supports small food businesses in our area, facilitating innovative and healthy products for our community.
  • HW owner, Charlie Tilt co-founded the Willamette Valley Sustainable Food Alliance and HW coworkers have acted as officers on the board of directors.
  • We collaborated with a local farm to establish Camas Country Mill, a grain mill for Oregon-grown crops.
  • We form collaborations with farmers, value-aligned businesses and our community to create food system solutions
We support local organizations whose mission and focus is aligned with ours, by giving back 4% of profits annually.

Ecological Choices

We analyze life cycles of packaging, including the effect they have on our environment. We use this information to make decisions on more sustainable packaging for our products.
  • We wash and reuse glass and plastic containers through a bold and innovative return policy, and encourage others to do the same
  • Our bulk liquids are delivered in reusable food grade deposit return containers. With a 76% return rate, our customers help us save approximately 18,000 lbs. of plastic from the landfill each year
  • We work to improve packaging through more sustainable materials (recycled, compostable, recyclable, reusable)
  • To avoid products made with GMO corn, our biodegradable bags are made of wood pulp from sustainably harvested wood
  • We use reusable buckets for our bulk products when we can
  • We accumulate waste oil from returns to turn into biodiesel

We continually look for ways to incorporate sustainability in our infrastructure and business model.

  • We, and all other tenants in the building in which we nest, practice a zero waste policy. We estimate our HW landfill waste to be less than 1,000 lbs per year (The EPA lists an average American individual produces 1,600 lbs of landfill waste per year)
  • Our heating and cooling systems are designed for energy conservation, and include high-efficiency heat pumps and a geothermal ground source unit. A solar water system preheats our water (with a tankless gas-fired back-up)
  • We meet 100% of our electrical load with EWEB Green Power and our 27KW rooftop solar electric system
  • We utilize day-lighting, LED and the newest fluorescent lighting to minimize energy use for lighting
  • We use non-toxic and low- (or no-) VOC finishes in our office environment.
  • We use bio-degradable soap for all our needs
  • We do not use bleach. Instead, we invest in more expensive, environmentally benign peracetic acid for sanitizing
  • To reduce paper use, we print invoices on half-sheet rather than full-page 100% recycled paper
  • We aim to reuse everything. Mailing envelopes, delivery boxes, plastic bags (in-house only; excess are recycled not tossed), glass jars and jugs; when feasible, 25# product bags are refilled with similar product and re-sewn

Hummingbird focuses on sustainability insetting. Insetting means that we reinvest back into a more sustainable supply chain: what we call Distributor Supported Agriculture. This helps to cover our costs for using 100% renewable energy, fuel efficient vehicles and supporting prosperity for farmers.

Relationships

Hummingbird Wholesale takes great care and pride in creating long-term, beneficial relationships with our farmers, customers, coworkers, processors, suppliers, retailers, and communities.

We believe that healthy relationships, personal accountability and good communication are a priority for ensuring a healthy environment. We have been in business since 1972, and many of our suppliers and growers have been selling to us for more than 20 years.

We are in this for the long term, for ourselves and for our children. At Hummingbird, every relationship counts.

Check out our Sustainability Report for the latest information on our sustainability efforts

 

For questions or to order by phone, call us: (541) 686-0921