The Mauro Seed Company is on a mission to alleviate world hunger by empowering those in need to be self-sufficient and to feed themselves. For every bag of seed purchased from the Mauro Seed Company, one bag is donated back to communities around the world in need.
The Mauro Seed Company, founded by Dave Mauro, was built with the guiding intention to put purpose before profit. It all started with a desire to stop funneling energy into a draining career and to start doing work that genuinely helped people. Encouraged to work for a greater purpose, Mauro and his wife began volunteering at local food banks and community gardens where they discovered what would become the base of their mission at Mauro Seed: real impact against world hunger comes when others are empowered to grow their food and feed themselves.
The two did their research and discovered that seed is the most cost effective way to feed the most people, for the longest amount of time. After that realization, the decision to start a seed company was an easy one. The company follows a buy-one-give-one model; Mauro Seed calls it “Grow One, Give One.” The intention of this specific model was twofold: to provide the highest quality seed to the millions of farmers and gardeners across the world, and to provide access to healthy food to the greatest number of people in need.
Rather than just giving food that temporarily fills a need, giving seed provides an endless supply of food for consumption, trade and the sustainability of communities.
The key to the “highest quality” aspect of the Mauro Seed mission is their choice to sell only non-GMO, heirloom seed. These seeds are open-pollenated, meaning renewable. Those in need who receive seed from Mauro Seed Company are able to save and reuse their seed year after year, for continuous access to food. This is the self-sufficiency goal the social enterprise strives toward — giving those in need the freedom and independence to take their nutrition into their own hands.
Mauro Seed is also the first seed company to offer biofortified seeds. Biofortification means to enrich nutrition levels of staple crops using conventional, non-GMO breeding techniques. This process is vital in places where communities rely almost entirely on one crop for nutrition, called staple crops. Deficiencies in micronutrients, such as zinc, iron and vitamin A, can cause profound damage to the body—blindness, growth stunting, intellectual disabilities and even premature death. With biofortification, crop researchers have developed staple crop varieties with elevated levels of these nutrients, to deliver much-needed nutrition through the existing food system. Mauro’s goal is to raise awareness of biofortification by selling ‘the world’s most nutritious seed’ here in the US – and use the proceeds to help get these seeds in the hands of the the people who need them most.
The seed company achieves its mission by partnering with organizations domestically and overseas who work to provide access to food or education about agriculture to communities in need. When someone buys seed from the Mauro Seed Company, one bag is donated to organizations who distribute it to those in need, while also teaching them how to best utilize the seed. Their reach stretches from Nashville, Kentucky and West Virginia to Guatemala and Zimbabwe. Foundations for Farming in Zimbabwe is one such organization that teaches local people the best methods to use, save and reuse seed for an endless supply of food.
The organization has already seen great success with this model and caliber of product. Just this last year via its seed and partners, Mauro Seed has provided one million pounds of food to those hungry. Excited for what the next few years have in store and how many more people can be helped, they are striving to double their impact and provide two million pounds of food in 2017.
The Mauro Seed Company joined SEA for the community of like-minded organizations. “We love that we can help others get their social enterprise off the ground and get help from other members. Together, our companies can be more than the sum our parts and SEA is the glue providing the connections and the visibility of our companies.”
To learn more about The Mauro Seed Company, check out their member directory profile.