2021 GLOBAL REPORTING INITIATIVE ISSUE BRIEF

Community Enrichment

Why It’s Important To Us

Across our Oregon processing plants and offices in Tillamook, Boardman and Portland, we employ over 1,000 people, support nearly 80 farmer-owners and educate 1.35 million visitors a year at the Tillamook Creamery visitors center. Through our Enriched Communities commitment, we endorse and support areas where our customers, employees and owners live and work. In 2020, we became a Certified B Corporation. This designation spotlights our dedication to using our business as a force for good. We do all these things to enrich the communities that have enthusiastically supported us for more than a century.

Management Approach

Community Enrichment Program: Our Community Enrichment Policy outlines our commitment to support community resilience and create value in all the communities where we operate — especially in the areas of food security, healthful children and agricultural advocacy. We are dedicated to leading and working collaboratively in our communities to solve complex social issues. Our contributions include cash and in-kind donations, sponsorships, scholarships, employee volunteerism and workplace giving.

In 2017, we established a cross-functional Community Enrichment Committee, comprised of employees from each of our operating locations — Tillamook, Boardman and Portland — and farmer-owners from Tillamook. Within this group, we have designated Site Champions to represent the local voice for each location. Committee members meet monthly to evaluate donation requests and support entities that align with our mission, reviewing over 300 applications per year.

KPI: In 2021, we invested 7.8% of our net income into our communities.

This KPI represents total giving in 2021 to non-profit organizations designated as a (501(c)3, 501(c)6, or 501(c)7). 

COVID-19 Response Plan: TCCA recognized that our response to the pandemic had to be in proportion to the crisis. In May 2020, our farmer-owners committed to a $4 million relief plan to help our employees, communities, small businesses and industry colleagues respond and recover. In 2021, we continued to support our employees with expanded sick leave, onsite vaccination clinics, incentive programs and reaction pay.

Agricultural Advocacy

As a farmer-owned cooperative, we care deeply about agriculture, the dairy industry and the future of dairy in Oregon and the United States. We advocate at the state and federal levels for working lands, rural resilience and natural resources. We work with policy makers and local organizations to understand community needs, address barriers and adopt meaningful solutions. We also support the next generation of farmers by providing agricultural education for over 1.35 million visitors annually at The Creamery visitors center and supporting youth farming education. Below are additional examples of our efforts in this area.

  • In 2021 we continued our cause marketing campaign, All For Farmers with American Farmland Trust (AFT), to educate consumers about the challenges farmers face and to give back to farmers across the country. We launched the All For Farmers Coalition, which brought brands and food lovers together to support farmers in need across the nation. We teamed up with Food52 to create the All For Farmers Market, a virtual marketplace where a percentage of proceeds get donated directly to AFT and their Brighter Future Fund. TCCA has also committed to underwrite AFT’s Brighter Future Fund through 2023, with a goal of raising $1 million and funding 150 grants per year to enhance viability, improve access to land and increase resilience for farmers in need.

  • We support youth agriculture organizations such as Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H. This included a $25,000 donation in 2021 to the Oregon FFA Foundation to support their work with over 160 agriculture teachers in 111 FFA chapters across the state of Oregon. This donation will help the foundation support district and statewide events focused on career development, state level leadership conferences, curriculum development and specific training for FFA state officers.

  • We sponsor agricultural events such as the Tillamook County June Dairy Parade, The Tillamook County Fair, The Morrow County Fair and the Umatilla County Fair Parade, Oregon’s Ag Fest and other agricultural celebrations.

  • We expanded our support of urban agricultural advocacy programs including local school gardens and urban farming education programs such as Grow Portland, Equitable Giving Circle, Sauvie Island Center and Growing Gardens.

  • To support the next generation of farmers and food scientists, we donated $10,000 to Oregon State University (OSU) Foundation’s College of Agricultural Sciences Climate, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative. This supports student programs such as Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Sciences (SACNAS). We are also supporting OSU with a $1.5M donation to help build their new state-of-the-art dairy processing facility.

  • We provide scholarship funds for external programs including $5,000 for OSU’s Agricultural Sciences Honors Scholarship. We also donated to the Oregon Farm Bureau Memorial Scholarship, Oregon and Tillamook County Dairy Women scholarships and the National Milk Producers Federation scholarship programs.

  • We support the development of the only agricultural land trust in Oregon: Oregon Agricultural Trust, a non-profit that will work with farmers and ranchers to preserve agricultural lands through easements.

  • Since 2017, we have worked with Crosswater Strategies, a lobbyist firm that represents TCCA’s government affairs agenda at local, regional and state-level politics.

  • We participate in National Milk Producers Federation and International Dairy Foods Association to advocate for dairy at federal and international levels.

Food Security

As a farmer-owned cooperative and food processor, we have an intrinsic desire to ensure people are well-fed. We are committed to ending hunger in Oregon because we believe everyone should have access to wholesome food. We are also working to address affordable housing, childcare and rural broadband access across the state, as these issues often impact the same low-income populations. Some examples of our efforts to fight hunger include:Some examples of our efforts to fight hunger include:

  • Oregon Food Bank (OFB):  Since 2016, we’ve donated over 700,000 pounds of food to those in need through OFB. In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we donated a total of $160,000 to OFB, including OFB Main and OFB Tillamook locations. This donation includes support for OFB’s Community Growers Pilot, an innovative program that supports local growers from communities disproportionately affected by hunger - particularly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; as well as immigrants and refugees - by purchasing food from those growers for direct distribution into their communities and supporting growers’ access to land and resources needed for their businesses.

  • In 2021, we donated a total 86,887 pounds of product to The Oregon Food Bank and 143,864 pounds to other organizations.

  • Through our COVID-19 Response Fund, we issued an additional $170,500 to non-profits addressing food insecurity in communities, including CARE Inc, Boardman Food Pantry, CAPECO, Portland Rescue Mission, Blessings in a Backpack, Community Cycling Center, NAYA, Equitable Giving Circle, Urban Gleaners, Food Roots, Providence Milwaukie Medical Foundation, Fulcrum Community Resources and Meals for Seniors and many more.

Our housing efforts include the following:

  • Habitat for Humanity: We provided Tillamook County Habitat for Humanity $17,000 in 2021 to hire a full-time Volunteer Service & Home Build Manager position. This position will be responsible for bringing together volunteer groups for home builds and “Ramps & Rails” projects. Tillamook County Habitat for Humanity currently has one home build in progress along with 20 ramps and rails projects for seniors, people experiencing disabilities and veterans.

  • American Connection Corps: Many of Oregon’s rural communities have unreliable and slow internet connection, impacting how they access school, remote work and telehealth services. We partnered with a national coalition, American Connection Corps, to sponsor two fellows who will work over the next two years to increase broadband access and digital literacy for our rural hometown communities of Tillamook and Morrow Counties.

  • Affordable Childcare: We made a $35,000 donation to support Families First Childcare Center which works to provide accessible and affordable childcare to the Boardman, Oregon community. TCCA’s donation will help offset the costs for parents and support the purchase of curriculum, assessments, materials and nutritious snacks. We also supported the Tillamook Community through a $10,000 donation to the Tillamook Early Learning Center.

Healthful Children

Empowering youth is key to building resiliency of our future communities. Below are a few of the ways we are committed to providing children with the opportunities they need to be healthful and active.  

  • Tillamook County Wellness: Since 2017, we have united with Tillamook County Wellness, a grassroots health improvement coalition, to provide monetary support and in-kind contributions for their programming. Our employees serve on the Advisory Committee, Access to Physical Activity Committee and Workplace Wellness Committee.

  • Scholarships & Education: We want to ensure every student has equal access to learning opportunities. Each year, we donate approximately $25,000 through our Excellence in Leadership scholarships for students throughout Oregon. We also support non-profits like College Possible and Elevate Oregon that focus on the support of low-income and BIPOC youths’ success in the education system.

  • Schools and Youth Sports: In Boardman, we donated funds to sponsor local little league and softball programs, the Columbia Youth Soccer Club and the purchase of swimming lessons for elementary school students. In 2021, we provided funding to support the replacement of Irrigon Junior/Senior High School’s dirt track with an updated track facility. This will benefit the 350 students at Irrigon and will allow the school to host track meets, district competitions, gym classes, youth events and will create numerous fitness and exercise opportunities for the local community.

Tillamook Cares Volunteer Program

Our Community Enrichment is strengthened by a culture of volunteerism. All employees are encouraged to participate and volunteer in community events through our formal volunteer program, Tillamook Cares. We offer employees eight hours of paid time each year to support a cause of their choice.

KPI: In 2021, we volunteered 1,576 hours in the community.

Tillamook Giving

In October of 2020 we launched Tillamook Giving, our employee donation match platform hosted on Benevity. TCCA matches employee donations to non-profit organizations, up to $500 per employee annually.  

KPI: In 2021, a total of $27,316 was donated from employees and TCCA through our Tillamook Giving program.

Community Enrichment Awards

In the last five years, we have received the following accolades for our Community Enrichment efforts: 

  • 2021 Halo Award (Gold), Best Activism/Advocacy Initiative, Engage for Good.

  • 2021 Honorable Mention, World Changing Ideas Awards - Corporate Social Responsibility, Fast Company

  • 2021, 2019, 2018 Corporate Donor of the Month, Oregon Food Bank.

  • 2020 Community Hero Award, Visit Tillamook Coast.

  • 2020, 2016 Innovation in Corporate Philanthropy, Portland Business Journal.

  • 2019 Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation, Association of Fundraising Professionals.

  • 2018 Outstanding Community Impact Award, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

TCCA is committed to large-scale sustainability initiatives at regional, national and global levels. Our values and Stewardship Commitments are aligned with and inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Dairy Sustainability Framework Global Criteria, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment and the National Milk Producers Federation FARM program.

TCCA is committed to large-scale sustainability initiatives at the regional, national and global levels. Our values and Stewardship Commitments are aligned with and inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, The Dairy Sustainability Framework Global Criteria, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment and the National Milk Producers Federation FARM program.
U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 1

Goal 1

End Poverty in All Its Forms Everywhere

TCCA Community Enrichment program offers significant financial support to many causes that support people in poverty, including food bank donations, health initiatives, youth sports, and addressing affordable housing.

Goal 2

Goal 2

End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition, and Promote Sustainable Agriculture

Our longstanding partnership with the Oregon Food Bank is a testament to our commitment to address and solve for food insecurity.

Goal 4

Goal 4

Ensure Inclusive and Quality Education for All and Promote Lifelong Learning Agriculture

As part of our commitment to healthful children, we provide approximately $25,000 in scholarships to students throughout Oregon.

Goal 8

Goal 8

Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth, Employment, and Decent Work for All

As a cooperative, we invest TCCA earnings in three ways: into farmer-owners’ pockets, into the business, and into our communities. In 2019, 4 percent of earnings were invested into our communities.

Our 2020 Stewardship Report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option.

Commitments to stewardship

Other Ways we’re doing Dairy right