Dr. Bronner’s, a socially responsible manufacturer of organic soaps, has seen its sales boom during the coronavirus pandemic. The San Diego headquartered company was deemed an essential manufacturer. The company followed the Centers for Disease Control guidelines and continued to manufacture. Year over year, hand sanitizer sales grew 3 times, liquid soap – which is 70 percent of the company’s business – spiked by 50 percent, and the company by over 30 percent.

The demand for sanitizer was much higher than the company could fulfill. They are bringing on more manufacturing capacity so that by the end of the year they can grow sanitizer sales to over times what it was last year. One of the impediments to manufacturing hand sanitizer is that the facility needs to have a drug license, which Dr. Bronner does not currently have.

The company has a global supply chain. They import organic oils from nations such as Sri Lanka, Ghana, India, Samoa, and Palestine. These imports were not a problem. The President of Dr. Bronner’s – Michael Bronner – told me getting the necessary packaging has been their biggest headache during the pandemic.

The company’s creation story includes Nazis, concentration camps, and the founder being thrown in a mental institution for too forcefully promoting social issues. Nevertheless, as a supply chain professional, what I found most interesting was the company’s socially responsible value chain. I have never talked
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