Business and Operations
La fourmi bionique earns B Corp and Women Owned certifications
By Colleen Cross
Montreal – La fourmi bionique, a Quebec-based manufacturer of granola cereals, mueslis and snacks made with mostly local, fair trade and organic ingredients, has been granted the B Corp certification, which is given to companies that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.
The certification process is extremely rigorous. To be certified, companies are audited on approximately 200 criteria grouped into five main themes:
- Corporate governance, i.e., the use of its power and responsibilities
- Employee involvement in sharing the company’s values
- Community, economic and social impact
- Environmental impact, i.e., the company’s global carbon footprint
- Customer relationships, taking into account their needs, communicating transparently, involving them, etc.
“Our goal has always been to move toward more ethical food consumption, which supports the agricultural industry, while promoting healthier, local and eco-friendly food,” said Geneviève Gagnon, president and founder of La fourmi bionique Inc.
Said Gagnon, “By reducing the amount of cardboard used, using electric vehicles for delivery in eligible cities, studying the life cycle of its products and the environmental impact of its packaging, La fourmi bionique is now sure to be one of the companies with the smallest carbon footprint in this market segment, all things considered.”
This project required more than a year of project management and considerable investment, but it was worth it according to Genevieve Gagnon: “Consumers are skeptical of the statements companies make about the measures they reportedly put in place. After years of greenwashing, B Corp certification validates brand claims. I also see it as a way to reassure customers and other stakeholders, and to encourage more people to take a more globally responsible approach. It’s more than just a trend – it’s a critical social issue.”
Earlier this year, the company also earned the Women Owned certification, a way to proudly display the fact that Gagnon owns 75 per cent of her company, with the remaining shares owned by businessman and silent shareholder Herschel Segal (Le Chateau, Davids Tea). Female ownership with a simple shareholding structure is a rare feature, worthy of being highlighted.
La fourmi bionique also is consolidating its identity with a new brand name and logo. Formerly branded as Fourmi Bionique Granola Co., it will now simply become “La Fourmi.”
La fourmi bionique was recently included in the list of Canada’s fastest growing companies (2021 Report on Business Ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies in collaboration with the Globe & Mail) for over 76 per cent growth over 3 years. It had been listed in 2017 for 78 per cent growth over five years.