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Solving Climate Change With Beer From Patagonia’s Food Startup

Publication: Bloomberg Businessweek

Author: Bradford Wieners

Executives at the outdoor apparel company are sick and tired of Big Food’s greenwashing.

Yvon Chouinard, the short, bluff, fatalistic founder of Patagonia, the company renowned for its pricey parkas, fuzzy fleeces, and exhortations to buy fewer of them, sits in a cafeteria-style Chinese restaurant in Jackson, Wyo. He scratches a clam from its shell, forks it into his mouth, chews, checks the time. “Oh, we’re fine,” he says, and Birgit Cameron, seated on his right, does her best to look reassured. A fairly recent addition to the Patagonia family, Cameron seems as eager to make a good impression this evening as Chouinard is indifferent to how he’s perceived. The two are expected in 10 minutes at the Center for the Arts in Jackson, where they’ll appear on stage together and introduce Unbroken Ground, a 26-minute film produced by Patagonia that highlights the suppliers of Patagonia Provisions, the three-year-old sister food company that Cameron heads. Depending on your level of cynicism, Unbroken Ground may strike you as a well-turned documentary about the ecologically enlightened suppliers behind the foods she sells, or perhaps as a slick marketing piece. Naturally, it’s both. …

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