Taking Care of Each Other and The Planet
We are living in unprecedented times. Prior to March, if you asked most people in our circles the question, "what is the biggest challenge of our current lifetime?" I believe many would have said climate change. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic tragically impacting many individuals around the world, and certainly affecting every aspect of our daily lives and our businesses, our answer may be slightly different.
The reality is, these two crises go hand-in-hand. A changing climate, and the activities that most contribute to it, increases the likelihood of pandemics like Coronavirus. It is also clear, those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change—the poor, those without good access to healthcare and people of color—are also those being hit the hardest by COVID-19. As with climate change, ignoring Coronavirus and moving forward with "business as usual" is putting short term gains ahead of overall health (and true success!). Viruses, like climate change, will stop us in our tracks. We have a responsibility to heed the danger signs, if we are to take care of one another and the generations to come.As a society, we have some work to do.
This is why we as a community must come together to protect one another right now. It is also important to continue our work for the long-haul on creating a better economic and social fabric predicated on sustainable and ethical business practices. A triple bottom line approach resonates through the current crisis, as it does for our vision for the future—take care of people and the planet, and sustainable, long-term prosperity will follow.
A bright spot in all of this—with people staying home, traveling less overall, and the reduction in fossil fuel use—pollution has decreased, skies and water are clearer. People are supporting one another in incredible ways. Emergency and health care workers are showing incredible courage. Folks shop for their elderly or immunocompromised family, friends, and neighbors. Grocery stores offer special shopping hours for those most vulnerable to complications from infection and limit the number of people who can shop at a time - to protect their communities and workers, despite the loss in profit that these provisions may result in. The simple act of wearing a mask is an act of care-taking of others (my mask protects you; your mask protects me). Is it possible that we will also find a more sustainable path forward? We all get a chance to reexamine the collective lifestyle of our modern era and we can decide what parts of the "way things were" we want to carry forward and what we want to reinvent.
If anyone can do that, it is this community!
We want to give a BIG THANK YOU to all of our customers, many of whom are on the front lines—face-to-face with customers, serving our communities. We are incredibly grateful for the relationships we have with our customers, farmers, vendors and friends. With your commitment to purchasing from us, in March, we experienced the largest volume of monthly sales in the history of Hummingbird. This meant long days and required incredible flexibility for our teams (as we know it did for you and your teams as well!). In recognition of the extra work and challenge, and the personal stress in processing the current reality, we shared the profits of March with everyone at Hummingbird with a $2 an hour bonus. We plan to continue offering bonuses for all Hummingbird coworkers each month through June, as we foresee continued ups and downs for at least the near future.
I look forward to the future when we can gather again.
Until then, be well,
Stacy Kraker, Director of Marketing and Sales