Asarasi Member Company Spotlight
In addition, the subsidiary B-Corporation Asarasi Farms, is working with independent maple syrup farmers and landowners around the northeast to create new revenue streams from protecting trees and capturing an otherwise wasted byproduct of the maple syrup manufacturing process.
What is your company’s approach to sustainability? Where did you start? Moving forward, how do you prioritize the actions that you take to improve performance?
The idea for Asarasi came from a visit to Vermont maple farms during the spring of 2008. Across the state, I witnessed maple producers throw away thousands of gallons of sap water after removing the maple sugar. After confirming it was pure biological water, I decided to find a way to bring it to consumers. The world is running out of fresh water. Less than 1% of all water on Earth is drinkable, and this supply continues to decrease at an alarming rate.
Sustainability is core to our business, and we’re proud to pioneer a completely new source of water to help replace our dwindling supply of fresh groundwater. Harvested from trees, consumption does not affect groundwater resources. It’s also biologically pure water, and the only USDA certified organic water available.
What are some of the ways in which your company has benefited from its sustainable business practices?
Asarasi’s business model is unique. We buy water in bulk from maple farmers who are discarding it as a by-product. We then convert the water into a consumer ready packaged good and sell through traditional distribution channels. Our products sustain a competitive profit margin in scale and provide the farmer with a +50% profit on their existing maple products, with little-added labor.
If you were just starting your sustainability efforts today, is there anything you would do differently?
There really wouldn’t be that much of a difference. The nature of who Asarasi is and what the brand stands for is inherent in the product itself. Asarasi was developed to help play a role in helping solve the World’s water crisis. This is just as important today as it was when it was launched and will continue to be just as important in the future.
What are some of the challenges your company faces in deepening its commitment to sustainability?
We’ve just finished our third year of production. As an organic water producer, processing is uniquely different than ground sourced waters, and we have developed trade secrets in conjunction with Cornell University to enable us to safely bring it to market. As we work with more farms and access additional suppliers, we must ensure that our strict processing standards are held and that our product is consistent.
In circumstances that require capital investments, how do you justify the expenditure?
For capital expenditures, the decision is based on its overall impact on our business. If we can stay agile by outsourcing capital-intensive projects, then that makes the most business sense. However, if there is a unique technology or long-term cost savings that can be realized by developing our own resources, then spending the capital would be a necessity to continue to advance our company’s core mission.
How would you describe your sustainability vision five years from now?
Very much as it is today. The key, however, will be the integration of tree water into consumers’ everyday lives, potentially to expand to other tappable tree species to continue to build alternative water supplies. Ultimately, the purchase decision for Asarasi’s customer is based on a solid trust and understanding in our unique water source, trees, and the benefits of buying the only USDA certified Organic water.