It’s hard to talk about the current give-back program by Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based supplier without stumbling into a pun. It’s certainly making a buzz with their customers. But really, the people behind it are just trying to be(e) responsible citizens of the world through the Honeybees and Humans program."
In 2022, 1% of all profits earned by Raining Rose will be donated to help farmers and families in Central and South America scale their beekeeping operations through a program with Heifer International, a non-profit based in Arkansas.
“Being a supplier that uses a ton of beeswax annually and monthly even, we thought this was a really great way that we could continue acting as good stewards towards these communities that are similar to those that we source our ingredients from,” says Stephanie Garland, marketing lead and promotional sales for Raining Rose.
The program is more than just a thoughtful way to remember and be supportive to the kind of materials Raining Rose is sourcing for products such as lip balm. It’s actually essential work. Honeybees are dying off at an alarming rate in recent decades, and their pollination patterns are a crucial part of our food systems all over the world. Albert Einstein once said that, if bees disappeared, humans would only have four years to live.
In the process of supporting Heifer International, the non-profit has educated members of Raining Rose on why this cause is so crucial. “One of the things we learned is that bee pollination actually impacts or supports one third of the food that the entire world eats, or consumes,” Garland says. “And so basically without honeybees and not supporting them, people would probably starve.”
In one way, an unintended benefit of Raining Rose’s commitment is the education that it provides. Many corporate social responsibility, sustainability or give-back programs understandably tend to focus on issues that the general public already knows are grave problems that needs to be addressed. Those causes do need to be financially supported, but much of the public isn’t fully aware that saving the bee population is about something much greater than showing compassion for insects.
“I think as time goes on, we definitely will be probably more evangelists and advocates for this because it is really important,” Garland says,
Nothing expresses that advocacy than the sheer commitment of their program. “We’ve heard from our customers, people that are working with us for the first time, ‘Wow, this is all-inclusive,’” says Ellen Bardsley, marketing automation and content lead for Raining Rose. “It is 1% of our annual profits. It is not just, ‘If you buy lip balm..’ It’s not just ‘If you buy a certain type of lip balm.’”
The leadership team at Raining Rose quickly got behind the cause for its big picture necessity, its educational practicality, and the people it helps directly. As a Certified B Corporation, Raining Rose Promos was going to be involved in a 2022 give-back program in one form or another, but it’s happy to find a unique cause to get behind.
Heifer International helps families set up business plans in their communities so that they can make a sustainable living through honeybees. It all starts with helping those people. It might lead to beeswax for the type of promotional products available through Raining Rose. But it might lead to so much more.