We work to help people live happier, healthier, longer lives through our products and by engaging in the communities where our employees live and work
Hello, I am Ted Gelov, founder and CEO of Heartland Food Products Group. Our business started in 1992 and has seen many changes over the decades. It has has grown and evolved through innovation, investment in plant and equipment, and in products and markets.
As we look back on our journey and head into the future, we see a business that brings real change and opportunity to lead as a health and wellness company. Our mission statement is rooted in this promise: “We help people live happier, healthier and longer lives, by making it easier to reduce sugar.
This mission statement isn’t just words on paper. It is a pledge to driving real purpose, a higher purpose for what we do and how we do it. As you will see throughout this sustainability report, we are highly focused on driving our company culture and aligning our strategy to this mission so that each and every associate, business partner, and activity is aligned with clear purpose and focus.
We have three main business units which we have shaped to be vertically aligned following four new strategies to guide our growth. First, a consumer brand campaign that drives consumer adoption, retention, and increases usage of our products.
Second, we cannot succeed in marketing our products to consumers without distribution and products on the shelf. Therefore, we have a clear retailer and shopper strategy to provide retailers more value and be their partner in the category.
Third, is to further incorporate sustainability inside and outside our business. Inside our business we will reduce packaging and our carbon footprint by using recyclable materials, recycle our own waste, and invest vertically to drive cost and non-value-added processes out of our supply chain. Our investment in US Stevia Farming does just that.
Lastly, outside of our business we will volunteer our time and make philanthropic investments aligned with our mission statement while improving sustainability and quality of life in the communities where our employees live and work.
At Heartland, helping people live “Happier, Healthier, Longer, Lives” (H2L2) is a part of everything we do. Whether we are conducting research for our next product, engaged in manufacturing, shipping to customers, training employees, or volunteering in the communities where we live and work, H2L2 is the motivation which drives us to succeed.
When it comes to being a corporate citizen, we take the position of being a community partner. We believe in the utilization of the shared value model when considering the environment, our employees, supply chain partners, customers, and the communities where we live and work. All of which are the core pillars of our approach to Corporate Responsibility.
Our employee engagement and philanthropic initiatives are aligned with the H2L2 philosophy. Our employees may utilize up to 16 hours per year of paid Volunteer Time Off (VTO). We begin by educating our employees about volunteering and the stages of engagement. Beginning with “hands” projects such as parks cleanups or volunteering at foodbanks and advancing to “skills” projects where our employees may be able to share their skills to aid process or systems improvements for our non-profit engagement partners.
One of our community engagement partners is the Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana and an example of how we align our volunteering with H2L2. The Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana (DYFI) is a local 501c3 non-profit created in 1989 with a mission and passion to educate, encourage, and empower children living with Type 1 diabetes, while providing support to their families.
Statement of Principles
Heartland strives to make our facilities a special place to work, with an atmosphere of mutual respect and professionalism. Heartland and our Partners all have a responsibility to uphold these principles by creating an atmosphere in which each employee knows they are valued as an individual and treated with respect and professionalism. Heartland’s Code of Conduct enables us to conduct our business and to source production in a manner that is both profitable and socially responsible.
Implementation of this Code of Conduct enables Heartland and our Partners to continually improve performance on worker’s rights, labor standards, and other human rights issues integral to the production process.
Compliance with this Code of Conduct is mandatory for all Heartland partners. Heartland reserves the right to immediately terminate its business relationship and cancel all orders with any partner who does not comply with this Code of Conduct.
We are committed to treating all of our employees with dignity and respect and providing our employees with a safe, healthy, clean work environment including appropriate and adequate facilities and protection from hazardous materials or conditions. We expect our Partners to maintain the same standards in their factories. All Heartland entities and Partners must comply with all applicable local laws and regulations governing working conditions.
Engage in Fair and Ethical Employment Practices
Fair Wages and Reasonable Working Hours: All Heartland locations and Partners must fairly compensate their employees by providing wages, benefits, and reasonable work hours in compliance with local standards and applicable laws of the countries in which we are doing business. Heartland and our Partners must compensate their employees at a rate equal to, or greater than, the prevailing local minimum wage, including piece rate workers. Heartland and our Partners must not require employees to work more hours than the limits on regular and overtime hours prescribed by applicable law.
Child Labor: We will not accept the use of child labor in our operations under any circumstances and will not purchase product(s) from any Partner that uses child labor. In determining whether a laborer is a “child,” we will refer to the local legal minimum age for employment or the age for completing compulsory education in the country of manufacture.
Forced or Compulsory Labor: We will not accept forced or compulsory labor in our operations under any circumstances and will not purchase product(s) from any Partner that utilizes forced or compulsory labor. Every employee must be a voluntary worker. Forced prison labor, or work against the will of an employee, including work required as a means of political coercion or punishment for expression of political views is strictly forbidden.
Our Employees: Heartland believes hiring decisions are based on selecting the most qualified candidate following the Equal Employment Opportunity principle that all people should have the right to work and advance on the bases of merit and ability, regardless of their race, sex, color, religion, disability, national origin, or age.
Heartland employees treat each other with dignity and respect across various cultural dimensions guided by the servant leadership model of friendly, competent, and available.
Legal Compliance: Heartland and our Partners shall comply with the legal requirements and standards of their industry and the laws of the countries in which Heartland and/or our Partners are doing business. Heartland and our Partners shall comply with all applicable export and import requirements. Necessary invoices and required documentation must be provided in compliance with applicable law. All merchandise shall be accurately and clearly marked with its country of origin in compliance with applicable law.
Third Party Information Protection
Heartland may collect, from our suppliers, outside vendors, and customer relationships and may be entrusted with various types of data including materials and information and without limitation confidential proprietary, operational, financial, social responsibility, personal information identifying shareholders, owners, and employees, organizational materials, and other information that is private and not known by the public at-large. Accordingly, we have an obligation to maintain the confidentiality of any information we do receive. This obligation may continue even after our relationship with the third party ends. The right of privacy has evolved to protect the ability of individuals to determine what sort of information about themselves is collected, and how that information is used.
15 U.S.C. § 45 15 U.S.C. charges the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with preventing “unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” In matters of privacy, the FTC’s role is one of enforcing privacy promises made in the marketplace. Heartland shall refrain from knowingly sharing this information with other third parties without the prior written consent of the parties.
Environment, Health and Safety
Heartland has maintained a long-standing commitment to protect the environment and safeguard the health and welfare of its employees, neighbors and consumers. We recognize nearly every aspect of a manufacturing business has a potential to impact the environment, human health or safety. It is Heartland’s responsibility to minimize those impacts and develop solutions to protect people and the environment and allow Heartland to maintain the product quality and value consumers demand. Heartland’s approach is to collaborate with its employees, suppliers, customers and consumers to identify, assess and minimize the environmental, health and safety impacts resulting from our manufacturing operations and the manufacturing operations of our Partners.
Heartland conducts regular assessments of its facilities and the facilities of our Partners to ensure compliance with this Code of Conduct.
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