Justin Kamine is a planet-forward entrepreneur who co-founded Do Good Foods with his brother Matthew to combat climate change by fighting food waste. The Kamine brothers’ company builds on the family’s 40-year heritage of solving macro environmental problems through building large infrastructure solutions.
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John: Welcome to another edition of the Impact Podcast. I’m John Shegerian and I’m so honored to have you with us today. Justin Kamine, he’s the co-founder and co-CEO of Do Good Foods and Do Good Chicken. Welcome to the Impact Podcast, Justin.
Justin Kamine: Awesome. Thank you for having me, John.
John: Hey, I know you’re an original New Jersey boy. You are talking to me from New York City, also where I grew up, where I went to high school and college and I’m sitting in Fresno today, so it’s wonderful having an East Coast Denizen with us today. But before we get going, Justin, about all the good work you’re doing to Do Good Chicken, can you share a little bit about where you grew up in New Jersey and how this journey unfolded, and how you got into this whole sustainable chicken business?
Justin: Yeah, absolutely. As you mentioned, I grew up in New Jersey on a horse farm and was there for 25, 30 years of my life and really fell in love with nature, the environment and really seeing the circular economy up close, right? How the manure went into this soil, how the soil created more crops, all that type of stuff.
Justin: The background of the family is important because that’s really how we got to where we are with Do Good Foods. My dad started off essentially as a plumber installing wastewater heat recovery systems in boiler rooms from age 12 to 15 with his father, just trying to make ends meet when he got married to my mother around 25. They mortgaged their house four times and got GE to finance about 800 million behind them where they built about 600 megawatts worth of Nashville gas co-generation facilities.
Justin: Providing the cheap steam, the byproduct of cogen to the very same paper mills and greenhouses that he and my grandfather stop installed the boilers out.
Justin: At a very early age, the Ethos in the DNA of the family is, we’ve been walking through the back door of the production facility as well as the front door. We really hung out with the boiler room team, and that’s really who ended up making the career and making the decision as to who got those contracts for the Cogen business. Long story short, that was sold in 1995 by President Clinton, who regulate the telecom industry similarly to the deregulation of the energy market. GE along with some others came to us as a family and said, “We want you to be the family to build, own and operate a telecom infrastructure platform for them.” So no different than agriculture. We knew nothing about telecom at that time. Long story short, we deployed two and a half billion across 40 cities, and we ended up becoming one of the largest privately held telecom companies across the United States, caring about one-third of the nation’s dial-up. We’re going to listen to that bandwidth and bandwidth log on the internet.
Justin: Long story short, we sold that. Then about 12-14 years ago, my brother and I graduated college and my father and mother at that time were right around 50 years old. Brother and I came up with a thesis of how we use large-scale infrastructure to solve some of society’s biggest problems as quickly as possible, recognizing that we are all screwed if this continues to happen with climate change, resource depletion, the population increase, and there’s tremendous inefficiency in the middle, aka waste. At that time, now, the 2008-2009 timeframe, solar energy was just getting started. I sat outside our office, just cold calling landowner building owners. My brother started off at the lowest totem pole of engineering. His background was in engineering. Mine was more business and public policy. We both built our careers learning how to figure out, how do we really build large-scale infrastructure and we built about 125 megawatts, about 400 million solar projects for companies like Pfizer and Eli Lilly, and Amazon. We made Six Flags a person amusement park in the world, 300% powered by solar. So that was really our training ground as to how we actually become an entrepreneur and we helped scale a business. Then we came across the sta of food waste about 5 or 6 years ago and said, “That’s the problem we got to really tackle.
John: That’s so wonderful. Now, it’s a family business. It’s your younger brother?
Justin: No, my older brother. My father is still full-time 24/7, 365.
John: Oh, wow. It’s a family business. When did you all decide to launch Do Good Foods and Do Good Chicken?
Justin: Yeah, it’s been a couple of year journey and with a lot of our engineers and the operating team as well. We got funding from TIAA-CREF [inaudible] in April 2019. So $170 million came into the company from them.
Justin: We built the first of its kind never before been done manufacturing facility in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. That facility is operating where we are upside doing about 160 tons that we collect from about 450 supermarkets of surplus grocery food every day and [inaudible] dried chicken feed the very next day.
John: Let’s step back and frame up the problem. What does the problem of food waste really look like in America and how bad is it? How much are we wasting and how much are we unnecessarily filling our landfills and other areas wrongfully with this overrun of food waste?
Justin: Yeah, food waste is a massive, massive problem and quite frankly, based upon Project Drawdown, the number one initiative and the number one most solvable problem across society from the environmental food perspective, we absolutely need to solve it. This isn’t our hope, dream, we would like to do, this is something that we absolutely need to. The numbers are staggering, 40% of all the food that is grown is thrown away across the United States. Think about that. You’re walking out of a supermarket in two out of every five bags of groceries. You’re just throwing in the garbage for a little bottle. We use 20% of our land to grow crops that we simply throw away. All of that food typically goes to landfill where it creates methane gas, about 86 times more potent than CO2. If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter [crosstalk] the US, China, and then food waste. When you really relate food waste to the understanding of the time, energy, and resources that went into actually creating that food, you’re talking about meat, fruits, and vegetables that farmers spent a lot of energy and resources to actually create and 40% of that just typically just goes to the landfill and then contributes to the greenhouse gas problem. This whole circular system is pretty inefficient. So food waste is something that we absolutely have to address.
There’s so much of it across the supply chain from on the farm to include distributors, to the retailers, the household level that there’s a tremendous amount of solutions that are coming to bear and getting to scale. That’s the optimistic viewpoint of it and the terminology of upcycling, the recognition that people can, and we can and should be utilizing our resources in a more efficient manner, that the whole terminology of waste shouldn’t really exist with food. We just really need to maximize and optimize how we utilize that asset and that resource, whether it be for human consumption, or donated as much as possible based upon the EPA food hierarchy. After any human consumption can occur, the next best usage is to be converted into animal feed. There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity and solutions to really create a circular economy and a circular food system. What I like to say is to revert nature back to the way it intended to operate. When we all used to grow up on a farm, we used to take our leftovers and feed them to our chickens and pigs and pets out back, that was a circular economy, that was a waste-free system. We just now have to implement that same concept in that same thesis, which is at a macro scale recognizing that we all go to major retailers and we all don’t grow up on farms anymore.
John: Right. Wait a second. You and your brother and your family wanted to attack this issue of food waste. There are so many ways of attacking issues appropriately. When you envisioned it, explain then how you came up with the upcycling methodology and in terms of attacking it from that angle. I mean, you went big fast to raise $170 million to put together this facility in Pennsylvania, that’s a big swing at the ball. Explain why that was the right angle from your perspective to go at this issue.
Justin: We don’t have time to waste. Given the background of the family, we had that platform to go off and do and try to do that type of arrangement, recognizing that we absolutely need to be working with the largest food companies across the United States to actually solve this problem in the next five or seven years. We can’t be sitting here in 20 years, or when I have kids my age and saying, “Hey, we still waste 40% of all the food that has grown.” That’s a tragedy and it’s a shame and quite frankly, we’re all screwed if that continues to happen. So the only way to really shift society and shift the systems is to be economically viable and at scale with the largest retailers, the largest food service companies, and the largest farmers and to really bring sustainability to scale and to the masses at a price point well below organic and empower the consumer to now be a part of the solution and simply buy a delicious piece of chicken and now know that you’re doing good with the main factors of “Don’t tell me to change my habits and don’t make me pay a lot more, well, great.” We’re just… Yeah.
John: Fascinating. You’ve leveraged the knowledge base and the confidence of your family’s history of doing things at scale. Your mom and dad have done things at scale numerous times over, and that was you and your brother’s theory that your family had great success doing things at scale, and as you said, we’re out of time here. That is whether people want to hear that or not. We are so out of time. You put together this facility, you raised that kind of dough and you’re upcycling for our listeners and viewers out there who aren’t familiar with that technology. Again, let’s go over what the upcycling part of the circular economy looks like before we get into the chicken part of it, the sustainable chicken part of it.
Justin: Yeah, upcycling is about utilizing a resource after it’s first and best used to be preserved and value the nutrients available. As mentioned based on the EPA food hierarchy, the first and best usage of food is the [inaudible]. In all of our contracts with retailers, we identify and pretty much bold that the next best usage after selling that product is to donate as much as you possibly can to any local food bank up to the extent that it still exists. The next best usage is to take that surplus grocery food, repackage it, and put any of the produce or meats into our specific bins that are at the supermarket level that are actually kept in the cold chain. So in the meat locker, in the produce section, Those bins essentially act like a big Yeti cooler. So think about when you bring your drinks to your beach, they’re able to maintain that temperature.
Justin: We have that same premise, but just at the supermarket level, so they close those bins. Our drivers go and pick up those bins every two or three days and the surplus grocery food that I bring back to my production facility, you can see on our website or might be Instagram or LinkedIn, you can see the surplus grocery food is still cold to touch. It still looks like great, you can still have a salad and make and have a barbecue out of what we’re picking up. It’s just the reality of the food system. We then put it through our process where we’re ready and able to grind all that food up. We’re heating it up, we’re pasteurizing it we’re blending it so that we get to that nutritional consistency and then we’re drawing that feed or that product into what looks and feels like a dry feed ingredient. What’s so powerful about that is that that can now go into the existing feed mill infrastructure of our farmers the very next day. No different than pouring soy.
John: That’s fascinating. For our listeners and viewers who’ve just joined us, we’ve got Justin Kamine with us today. He’s the co-founder and co-CEO of Do Good Foods. You can find Justin and his family and colleagues at dogoodchicken.com. Justin, why chicken? Why did you start in terms of the food ecosystem, why did you start besides the upcycling, which I totally get and understand, and the value of scale and what you’ve created in Pennsylvania, why chicken?
Justin: Well, chickens are omnivores first and foremost, right?
Justin: We’re actually giving them the rightful and more natural diet that they would be getting in nature, right?
Justin: [crosstalk] They’re going out. If you leave a chicken out in the wild, it’s going out and eating everything.
Justin: Unfortunately, big agriculture’s only fed them corn and soy and called it quote-unquote a vegetarian diet, which is just a lot of marketing terminology. Where we went was, okay, where’s the optimum from a health perspective and a nutritional composition for the right animal, the chicken was it to start? Then we’ve overlaid that with the fact that there are over 8 to 9 billion chickens consumed in the United States per year.
Justin: 175 million chickens are processed every week. When we look at the magnitude of the system that we’ve built, right? Our infrastructure helps solve surplus growth through food waste across the country, we wanted to approach an industry that we could sit here today and say, “We could actually solve food waste across the country with one out of every five pieces of chicken that we all ate was at Do Good Chicken. We would solve this problem in the next five years. That’s a pretty cool initiative and a pretty, pretty amazing stat. It’s real and it’s tangible and it’s already here. We don’t need some technology breakthrough or some carbon-capturing solution. It’s just logical and the way nature intended to operate in a closed-loop system has never before been done at this scale. So chicken was really our focus to say, “We got to build a brand. We got to put this product back onto the retail shelf.” The supermarkets love it because we pick up all their surplus grocery food for free. We hand them back a standard retail product, and they make their standard retail margin on it, and so therefore, this closed-loop system’s amazingly profitable for them. So it’s not just sustainability, it’s really how do you make a profitable business and the only way to have the greatest impact in the world is to have the greatest profitability, and then therefore you can actually have impact at scale.
John: That’s fascinating. Your relationship with the retailers is truly bilateral. It’s selling in, but also taking back and so that you’re just closing the whole circular economy with the retailers then.
John: That’s awesome. When did you launch the chickens, the sustainable chickens themselves?
Justin: Yeah. Do Good Chicken launched less than a year ago literally next week, April 22nd of birthday is when we launched last year.
John: How’s it going? From what you did at the kitchen table with your brother and dad and mom and to where it’s been, how’s the scaling been, the launch, and the scale?
Justin: It’s been an amazing journey. We did not come from the poultry industry. I do not claim that I’m an expert in it. I think I’m getting my MBA in it. But since launch, we’ve seen amazing success. We are already with Target, Albertson’s, Acme, Safeway, Giant, Ahold, Wakefern, and many others. We have major food service contracts in relationships with groups like Food Buying Compass and many others that have come to us and said not only is the chicken tasting delicious but you can find it at places like Tom Colicchio’s restaurant. But what is so impactful and powerful about this product is that it has the first ever USDA-approved third-party verified scope three carbon reduced equation where each Do Good Chicken saves three pounds of greenhouse gases. So quantification to lower scope three emissions by simply buying this piece of chicken. We’re selling into many of the Fortune 100 companies and they’re now starting to put this on their major ESG reports because they’re actually lowering carbon emissions by simply buying a delicious piece of chicken through their current supply chain.
John: But if they’re doing it really right, aren’t they also sending you back their food surplus also? They’re winning twice on their ESG report if they’re really doing it right.
Justin: The retailers that are doing that are absolutely leading and they’re leading with profitability too. Because we pick up, we take a huge cost and make it zero.
John: Let’s go over this now. Let’s go back to the chicken issue. You chose chicken as your first opportunity, you gave the stats on chickens in the United States. Is chicken the number one meat in the world right now that’s consumed?
Justin: I don’t know that sure, but it’s definitely trending if not already there.
John: Right. Someone once told me recently, and I’m not sure if I had it right, it was that their statistics show that due to some of the big pig diseases that had hit Asia and China in recent years that chicken had overcome pork. If that’s the case, wow. You’ve created a paradigm that not only will work here and continue to scale here, I assume with the scale that your family’s worked on before, you’ve created a paradigm that could be taken around the world eventually as well.
Justin: Absolutely. We’ve been having conversations with many major countries across the world about bringing this solution to bear. Not only just with chicken but with Michael’s foods. We’ve already launched Do Good Eggs. We can utilize this feed across the board in different animal-based proteins. Recognizing that we got to use our current food system to solve some of our biggest environmental problems now. Yes, we can all eat better. Yes, we can continue to scale plant-based proteins and more environmentally progressive alternatives. I’m all for all of them. I also, look at the magnitude of the current system, and the majority of consumers, 90 plus percent of them, are still eating animal-based proteins at such massive volumes that we need to, and focus on that and that’s why I always use a stat one over five chickens to Do Good Chickens. We’d solve food waste. We can continue to reduce animal-based protein, which is, would be great for the environment, and the perspective too.
Justin: But those that want to eat chicken or eggs, we absolutely have to give them an alternative that is equally, if not way more progressive than the environment, than perspective.
John: Well, as you said, you’re meeting your consumers where they’re at, they want to eat it, you’re giving them what they want and just giving them the more sustainable product, which is healthier for them, better for the environment. Everybody wins.
John: Are you eventually going to eggs as well?
Justin: Yeah, we’ve already made that public announcement with Michael Foods owned by Post Foods. I’m bringing Do Good Eggs nationwide through food service.
John: This is awesome. Let’s go back. You’re a year into the chicken, this Earth Day.
John: By the time this episode launch airs it will be a little bit after Earth Day, I’m sure. Where are you? If life is a baseball game and business is a baseball game, are you at the top of the first, the bottom of the third? Where are you right now, Justin, in terms of your scaling of the chicken part of this amazing venture and circular economy opportunity that you’ve created for Do Good Foods and Do Good Chicken?
Justin: Yeah, it’s an interesting question. I think from the contracts and relationships that we have with literally the largest food service companies and the largest retailers already, I would say we are aiming for four or five. But I would actually say that the development of the brand and the opportunity that’s just getting started is probably still at the top of the first [inaudible]
John: Right. Talk about your brother. I assume you’re both co-CEOs, you’re co-CEOs with your brother.
Justin: Yeah. It’s been amazing. He’s got an amazing engineering and finance mines and he really runs all the operations in construction and logistics. If you think about it, we’ve built four businesses all within one, right?
Justin: Everyone’s always recognized that food waste is a major problem. No one’s ever really done anything at scale about it. Because you’ve had to set up an entire logistics business, an entire processing business that’s never before been done in a large-scale manufacturing perspective. Then once you create that feed, then you got to then launch a sales and marketing, and distribution product in business as well. You got to coordinate all of that collectively together with a group and a team that’s never before done. He very much runs a lot of pretty much the pickup of the surplus grocery food to the processing, to the feed creation. The moment that feed is created, I pretty much pick it up and say, “Okay, here’s where we’re going, how we’re doing it, and here’s the sales and the marketing strategy.”
John: Is that what you studied in college sales and marketing?
Justin: No, not really. I’m more business-ish.
Justin: We’ve been entrepreneurs now for about 12 years, so you get a pretty quick learn of a lot of different things.
John: Well, wait a second. Not really. You’ve been an entrepreneur since you came out of your mom and dad and you guys really grew up in an entrepreneurial family. So no matter what, whether it was dinner table or it was by osmosis. You guys really were inundated with the world of entrepreneurism with what your mom and dad were doing since you’ve been born. That’s the way I look at this whole thing.
Justin: I would agree. I think they would agree as well.
John: Yeah, there’s no way. Are mom and dad involved with this or are they cheering you on from the sidelines or are they sitting you down once a week or once a month or once a quarter saying, “Let’s review, what’s going on so we can coach you from what we’ve seen before with the pattern recognition that we’ve seen in our lives, in our careers? Just so you guys keep on the line that you’re supposed to keep on.” How does that work?
Justin: Our father is 24/7, 365 at the office.
John: He’s hardcore. Your dad’s hardcore.
Justin: If you called him up right now and ask him any line at him in the Excel model or model of any business development that’s ongoing, and what’s the next conversation, he’ll tell you everything that’s going on.
John: I love your dad. He’s my kind of guy. That’s just the way it is.
John: Talk about you and your brother, the first sale, you, your brother, your dad, the family’s first sale. What was the first indication that clicked this was going to work and here was the first buyer, and who is that first uptake on what you were proposing?
Justin: On day one, right? We had never sold a piece of chicken.
John: On day one. On day one?
Justin: Yeah. We had been building this in this project for a while, right?
Justin: When we built the infrastructure, right? It took us a year and a half to build that, right?
Justin: We had to write supply contracts for the supermarkets. But on day one, we had already pre-sold into Albertsons, ACME, Safeway, Giant, Ahold, and Cisco. The first clients were some of the biggest and they were saying, “You know what? This story, this impact, and this profitable solution is something that we want to get behind and be a part of.” I mean, funny story, my head of sales and I literally at Tuesday night we had never before tasted the product. We processed it, it was going onto retail shelves the next day. We literally took a flight out to Chicago, go, and met with a bunch of the chefs and all the top chefs across the country who all are part of the story and wanted to be a part of the first product. They’re cooking it up for us and they’re like, “Oh, how do you guys taste it and all this episode, tell me about your past experiences with the products.” We just look at each other. We’re like, “No, this is it.” So their first bite was our first bite and it’s amazing to taste the profile and the deliciousness of the chicken, you really are what you eat. Right now, a majority, if not nearly every one of the chickens that we’ve all had as a society unless it’s like a pasture-raised bird which is a very small fraction of the massive chicken market is just fed corn and soy.
Justin: Now, all of a sudden these chickens are really getting the meats, fruits and vegetables, amino acids that are really what those animals really and truly desire and are right from the environmental perspective and it’s showing up in a delicious product.
John: Yeah. Thank you for sending the samples in advance of this show. Our family lady who takes care of our household cooked it up for my wife and my daughter. I’m typically a plant-based eater, but my granddaughter, my wife, and my daughter are very concerned about what our family eats given the times we live in. Also, our granddaughter now is three. Everybody tried your chicken, including me. I’ll tell you what, it was superior to anything else I’ve ever tasted. Again, I’m not a big meat eater, but it was delicious. My granddaughter, three-year-olds don’t lie. She loved it. My daughter loved it. I know my daughter is going to be a convert and buy for her young family now, you’re Do Good Chicken, but it’s just so great to know that someone like you with the efficacy that you care about so deeply and your brother cares about and your family cares about are doing something as important as you’re doing it on a scale level, not just for the northeast region or the southeast region.
You did it right out of the chute on a big-time basis. That’s just fascinating and also incredible at the same time. Who did you hook up with though to get Albertsons and all these great brands already pre-sold, did you hire a food brokerage company? Did you and your pops and your brother know enough to do that, or did someone coach you to do that, or did you guys just go direct? How did that really transpire? Because I have a lot of young entrepreneurs that listen to this show that have new drinks and have now all sorts of new food products because this is the innovation generation of the revamping of our food ecosystem. They’re always wondering if should they go direct. Should they need a broker? How did you actually do it at scale?
Justin: Yeah, we’ve hired a tremendous amount of amazing people that have joined the mission that has come from the industry.
John: Oh, got it.
Justin: We’re up to a hundred-plus people in the company and what’s been amazing and so powerful is we’ve pulled people out of retirement. We’ve done everything because they’re now able to do what they grew up doing and knowing that they love and have been their bread and butter in their life for the entire decades that they’ve been working. But now they actually get to do that and do something good that’s really impactful and tangible for the environment and to your point of view, you brought up your daughter and kids.
Justin: This is about empowering us all to be a part of this mission. It’s not going to be just Do Good Foods that solve food waste. It’s going to be collectively all of us. If you as a consumer or a mom are walking into a store and you can simply move your arms six inches to the right and buy this brand and not that brand, and now know that you’re actually saving three pounds of greenhouse gases and four pounds of surplus grocery food, why wouldn’t you now do good? But we need to recognize that we’re all part of this whole planet together. That’s been the problem with the food system is we’ve been so disconnected from our food. We walk into every supermarket at every time and expect every product, right? There’s no seasonality anymore. So you brought up the kind of this food revolution. I think it’s now because people are truly recognizing the problems of the current food system and the resource depletion as the population goes up. That’s just a math equation. They’re the current imbalance that it just runs out. How do we rebalance that? It’s about, in my opinion, using consumerism to solve our environmental problems.
John: Well, for our listeners and viewers who just joined us, we’ve got Justin Kamine with us. He’s the co-founder and co-CEO of Do Good Chicken. You can find them at www.dogoodchicken.com. So right now, you have retailers and supermarkets taking your product. What percentage, like how much more sales do you need to feel like, “Wow, we are on all cylinders now.” In terms of two things, getting back their food waste and selling in your chicken, when do you hit the scale level that you’ll like? Say, “We’re accomplishing what we set out to do.”
Justin: As a good entrepreneur, I’m not sure that there is an answer there.
Justin: I’d say it because there is supermarkets across the country, there’s like 42,000 of them plus-minus.
Justin: Each one more or less is pretty much throwing away a tremendous amount for both grocery food. The inherent environmentalist in me continuously thinks about, “Okay, well there’s always going to be some waste, and let’s keep going after that and pursuing that.” To answer your question more logically, which is probably what my therapist would say I think there’s a recognition of this is only year one. The companies that we already have a part of us, the excitement around the brand that we already know it’s here and real. I think when we land our first major restaurant, the quicker restaurant where you can walk in and you can get the chicken sandwich that saved the world or the egg sandwich that saved the world. I mean, someone’s going to win the chicken sandwich wars by launching the most sustainable chicken sandwich ever.
Justin: I’m winning on taste and I’m winning on the environment. That PR blitz is going to be monumental when they can point at everyone else and say, “I’m doing it not just from a taste profile, but I’m also helping to save the world.” That’s a powerful mission and power-powerful story. I think at that moment it’ll be like, “Okay, that’s cool.”
John: Justin, I’m on your website now. Just dogoodchicken.com. I love it because it shows all the great products you have, chicken thighs, drumsticks, chicken tenderloins, breasts, drummettes, whole chickens, and eventually eggs coming your way. But then it talks about the retailers, Giant, Safeway, Target, ACME, and Jewel-Osco. When do you also cross over into the ear wands and Whole Foods and those marketplaces? I’m always fascinated by that crossover and uptake as well.
Justin: Yeah. it’s interesting, a lot of people always ask me, well, why didn’t you just focus on Whole Foods.
Justin: Isn’t that the most sustainable customer, right? In Whole Foods trends, it was I think in 2022 all about the upside, right?
Justin: The answer is yeah, that’s probably my ideal customer, right? That’s if I had to draw it up, that’s probably the main person. Sustainability in the environment doesn’t work that way.
Justin: We need to bring affordability and accessibility to climate change solutions now.
John: You’re right.
Justin: We can’t compete for the 1% no different than how organic is for the top 5% of consumers, right?
Justin: We need to drive monumental and massive change immediately. The only way to do so is across the board to make this accessible to as many people as possible. Because the fact is that 90% plus of consumers are raising their hands saying, “What can I do to help? Just don’t ask me to change my habits and don’t ask me to pay a lot more.” So if we can provide products to the masses that 90% plus of people then all of a sudden everyone’s their own little superhero. That’s where my whole belief is that we’re in this problem because of consumerism. We got to get out of that, this problem with consumerism and we got to be accessible to everyone and not this, I don’t know, top-price product where not everyone can afford it.
John: That’s true. You recently announced partnerships with the Compass Group and Michael Foods. You referenced Michaels a little while ago. What’s next for Do Good? When you go to bed tonight, tomorrow night, the next night, what’s next in terms of you always like to think big and far in advance, but also we got to have a path to get there, what’s your path? The rest of 2023 and 2024? What’s it look like for Do Good?
Justin: Yeah, we’re raising a big round right now, so that will hopefully come to fruition relatively shortly…
John: Stop there. I always like hearing about that. Entrepreneurs always raise money. It’s never easy. What’s a big round to the Kamine family? That’s what I want to understand. How much are you raising now?
John: Your about…
Justin: A sizable amount.
John: Okay. Sizable amount. You raised 170 million before, that’s a sizable amount. You’re raising a sizable amount to meet the scale that you’re hitting.
Justin: People are sizable. Yep. That will be exciting, I think that will really put us on the trajectory to really just bring this to a bigger and broader audience as quickly as possible. We’ve already diverted just since we launched a couple of 6, 8, and 10 months ago, 27 million pounds of surplus grocery food. We’ve already saved over 3100 tons of co2. I saw…
John: That’s the first year. That’s the first, just so we’re looking at an impact. Is that like the first Earth Day to the next Earth Day?
Justin: Yeah, less than a year. That’s not even fully ramped up. That’s just the facility just turning on and just ramping up. This year will be the full kind going into the next quarter of the full-year at max scale if we keep driving up.
John: Are the retailers that are leveraging your Takeback program and also selling your great product, are they actualizing it and doing what we’ve talked about earlier? Are they radically transparently discussing in their ESG report an impact report, which of course, is seen by their analyst C-Suite and client base investors and others, what they’re actually doing with you?
Justin: Yeah, they’re getting there. I actually give them a carbon impact receipt each month based upon how many pounds of surplus grocery food we measure and weigh every bin so we know down to the store how much we’re collecting and then we also know how many pounds of chicken they’re consuming or are buying. We can calculate the number of pounds of greenhouse gases that we’re saving based on those chicken purchases. They’re starting to compass listed us in their major ESG report, which was fantastic. Then Michael’s also did it well. People are now really starting to put it out publicly that’s the partnership that we have with them.
John: You have a zip code locator on your doggoodchicken.com website where people could click where to buy, put in their postal code or their city, and it will bring up where close to them they can buy your great products.
Justin: Yeah. Now, they’re pretty much from Boston to DC out to Texas and up to Colorado then go over to Chicago. We’re making our way West. But the priority is obviously where our production facility is in Pennsylvania.
John: Will you be building with the next round of capital as your goal is to build another facility closer on the West Coast? So this way you break up the country and you could service every zip code in the country.
Justin: We’re working on it. We’ve already publicly announced a facility in Indiana and North Carolina.
John: That’s wonderful. I’ve got facilities in both states, and I got to tell you that both states are wonderful to work in. I’ve had nothing but great success. Our biggest facility is actually in Plainfield, Indiana, and we love working in Indiana. We’ve got a great facility in North Carolina and the people of North Carolina are also wonderful to work with. Well, Justin, I don’t know, you’re too young to remember, but when I was growing up, I’m 60 now. When I was growing up, there was this guy named Frank Perdue, and he used to have the most iconic commercial on television or one of the most iconic commercials. Basically, the tagline for Purdue Chicken back then was, “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken.” Now, I think we’ve got to repurpose that for you now and your family. I think we’ve got to repurpose it to say “It takes a great family to make a good chicken.” I think that’s what we’ve got. I think that’s where we’re going here, Justin.
Justin: I like it. That’s a great tagline. I’ll owe you some royalties.
John: No royalties. Just a coffee one day when we get together, we meet one day. That’s all I want to do. But for our listeners and viewers, again, to find Justin, his family, and all his colleagues that are changing the world and making huge impacts at Do Good Chicken, please go to www.dogoodchicken.com. Justin, it’s been my absolute pleasure to host you. I want you to come back on and keep giving updates on all the great announcements and changing evolving things that you are doing to make great impacts at Do Good Chicken. Please come back on in the future and keep the journey going well, continue good health and success and I want you guys to succeed in the best way.
Justin: Awesome. I appreciate that very much. We’re all part of this.
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