The Well Earth Program: Sustainable Supply Chain Management for Frontier Co-Op

Sustainable Food Group has been working with international spice and essential oil brand Frontier Co-op on their Well Earth sustainable sourcing program since 2017.


Frontier Co-op created the Well Earth sustainable sourcing program in 2007. Well Earth was meant to develop and secure reliable sources for a large range of spices and essential oils by incentivizing suppliers to continuously improve business practices that benefit farmers, workers and the environment. Frontier Co-op also creates partnerships with the growers and communities who supply products through the Well Earth program on projects with a specific social and/or environmental goal.


In 2017, Sustainable Food Group and Frontier Co-op started working together to update the Well Earth sustainable sourcing program and supplier verification process. Revising the Well Earth program would enable Frontier to further increase transparency into their supply chain, to complete their goal to increase the number of suppliers in their program and to increase the number of impactful projects they do with growers and communities.

Sustainable Food Group

  • Developed a three-tiered supplier verification process that we continue to operate daily
  • Created a strategy for prioritizing Frontier Co-op’s Well Earth funds and partner together on specific projects. As an example, Frontier Co-op and Sustainable Food Group partnered together to help 150 black pepper farmers transition to organic. For more information, click here.
  • Continues to work with Frontier on the Well Earth program. Current activities include impact measurement, helping suppliers to further improve their sustainability performance and share success stories as a result of the Well Earth program.


Thus far, suppliers representing 60% of Frontier Co-op’s purchases from all over the world have been onboarded into the Well Earth program. Supplier ratings have been introduced to better communicate performance on the questionnaire and help drive suppliers’ improvement over time. Increased transparency helps drive purchasing decisions.

According to Seth Petchers, Sustainable Supply Chain Manager at Frontier Co-op:

“The Sustainable Food Group team leveraged their expertise in sustainable agriculture to develop a holistic sustainable sourcing program for our global spice and essential oil supply chains. Their pragmatic but thorough, scientific approach helped us build foundational systems from the ground up, and their thoughtful support and responsiveness has helped us hone the program and adapt to market developments.”