Tractor Beverage Company Creates Brand Differentiation and Radical Transparency

Tractor Beverage Company Creates Brand Differentiation and Radical Transparency

Tractor Beverage Company has always been strongly committed to sourcing organic ingredients and needed a data-backed method to quantify, verify, and communicate the impact of this commitment.

A distributor that has enjoyed visibility through partnerships with restaurants like Chipotle and PLNT Burger, they were looking for a way to further differentiate themselves based on their sustainability impact, while also supporting their customers’ sustainability strategies.

“HowGood provided the robust, granular, and trusted data we needed to quantify, verify, and communicate the impact of our organic ingredient commitment accurately. Their standardized methodologies, dynamic database, and sensitivity to avoiding greenwashing ensured the credibility of our sustainability claims.” – Tractor Beverage Company

The challenge of finding accurate, granular, trusted data

Tractor Beverage Company is revolutionizing the restaurant beverage station. Co-founded by a farmer dedicated to cleaning up the food system, it offers the first and only Certified Organic, non-GMO total beverage solution for food service.

The Tractor team wanted to design a transparent impact accounting system to add direct value to their pouring partners.

They knew they needed 3rd party verified, granular, accurate data specific to their ingredients. It had to be from trusted data sources, using standardized methodologies. They wanted it to be dynamic, so that they could add new products over time and get updated metrics accordingly. Lastly, they knew it would be critical to align it with the same metrics their B2B customers use.

In short, the system needed to add true ROI across the entire B2B2C ecosystem – both in B2C marketing to young consumers and B2B sales positioning to new and existing pouring partners.

They also wanted a way to publicly hold themselves accountable for continuous, measurable improvement on their environmental and social impact.

“Organic is more than a label: certified organic food is grown without most synthetic fertilizers and synthetic pesticides, sewage sludge, and GMOs or ionizing radiation often used in conventional farming. Organic farmers also implement practices that promote soil health, biodiversity, water conservation, and a self-sustaining cycle of resources.
Beyond providing transparency into our tracking and practices, the Organic Impact Tracker makes it easier to understand where and how choosing organic makes a positive change in our food system, our environment, and our world.” -Tractor Beverage Company

Quantified impact accounting through frictionless supplier engagement

Tractor engaged HowGood in Fall 2022 as a 3rd-party impact accounting partner to measure and validate their impact across key sustainability metrics. As a farmer-founded, employee-owned company, they responsibly source ingredients for their beverages which are available in over 7,500 locations.

The Tractor team knew their commitment to organic ingredients had a positive impact on a number of sustainability fronts. They were able to utilize HowGood to compare their formulations to conventional alternatives in a like-for-like way across several impact metrics, including:

  • Organic land supported
  • Carbon emissions avoided
  • Water saved
  • Improved soil health

With particular sensitivity to avoiding greenwashing and maintaining full transparency, Tractor relied on HowGood’s database for its use of standardized methodologies and published data sources.

In addition to those metrics, they engaged Dr. Stephanie Bledsoe of LandBack & Abakis Ag to develop a custom metric and methodology that measures the amount of pesticides avoided by sourcing organic ingredients. Integrating this custom metric with HowGood’s standardized metrics was critical to creating a system that is unique to them, recognizable and respected across the industry.

They also utilized HowGood’s Supplier Engagement tools and their relationship with their ingredient solutions provider Kerry to source detailed information about every ingredient in their formulations. HowGood’s supplier portal provided a seamless and secure method for Tractor to receive in-depth sustainability insights for the ingredients they were sourcing from Kerry, without any of Kerry’s proprietary formulation data being shared.

“Tractor is the first beverage brand to track and share impact data about our ingredients, and it wouldn’t be possible without our valued partners: HowGood, Dr. Stephanie Beldsoe, and Kerry.” -Tractor Beverage Company

Data-backed sustainability claims for B2B and B2C marketing

“While Tractor is working to make better-for-you craft beverages accessible to all, we are equally dedicated to supporting farming practices that benefit the environment,” said Travis Potter, Co-Founder of Tractor Beverage Company. “We partnered with the best scientists and data analysts in the business to develop a tool that will allow us to measure what matters to us most. Our intent is to encourage farming practices that prevent synthetic pesticides from entering the food system, degrading land, and contaminating water by making this data widely available to the food and beverage industry.”

With HowGood’s comprehensive data in place, Tractor was empowered to launch a full-scale, national marketing campaign.

Their launch introduced their Organic Impact Tracker – a “transparent accounting that quantifies and makes public the benefits of sourcing organic ingredients over conventional counterparts.”

Tractor’s B2B campaign launched through national media and landed them a main stage presence at Natural Products Expo West. It was followed by a consumer-facing campaign in 2023, garnering increased publicity.

Sustainability trailblazing has a lasting impact

The Organic Impact Tracker has had a measurable global impact. In 2023 alone, Tractor and their Pouring Partners:

  • Avoided 729.4 tons of carbon emissions
  • Supported 3882.9 acres of organic land
  • Saved 187,453.3 gallons of water
  • Contributed to 3882.9 acres of improved soil health
  • Avoided 34.04 tons of synthetic pesticides

In May 2024, Tractor and HowGood were recognized by Fast Company’s 2024 World Changing Ideas Awards for the Organic Impact Tracker, further proving the value of sustainability-driven innovation.

“We’re honored by Fast Company’s recognition of our achievement,” stated Kevin Sherman, CEO of Tractor Beverage Company. “Over the past year, Tractor has steered clear of 34 tons of synthetic pesticides, a significant step towards leaving a better world for future generations. With HowGood’s assistance, we’re setting a new bar for accountability and transparency in the food and beverage industry and demonstrating our commitment to prioritizing people and the planet over pesticides.”

By partnering with HowGood, Tractor Beverage was able to showcase their commitment to organic ingredient sourcing in a data-driven, transparent, and precedent-setting way.

It became the first beverage brand to track and disclose impact data about its ingredients, supporting the company’s commitment to transparency and sustainable sourcing and responding to consumer demand for clean ingredients and environmental responsibility.