Gary Hirshberg is the husband of freelance writer Meg Hirshberg and the father of three yogurt eaters. He is Chairman, President, and CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World (Hyperion Books, 2008). Gary is a frequent speaker on topics including sustainability, climate change, sustainable economic development, organic agriculture, and the profitability of green and socially responsible business.
Since 1983, Gary has overseen Stonyfield’s phenomenal growth, from its infancy as a seven-cow organic farming school to its current $370 million in annual sales. Stonyfield has enjoyed a compounded annual growth rate of over 23% for more than eighteen years, by consistently producing great-tasting products and using innovative marketing techniques that blend the company’s social, environmental, and financial missions. In 2001, Stonyfield Farm entered into a partnership with Groupe Danone, and in 2005, Gary became managing director of Stonyfield Europe, a joint venture with Danone, with organic brands in Canada, Ireland, and France.
Previously, he directed the Rural Education Center, the small organic farming school from which Stonyfield was spawned. Before that, Gary had served as executive director of The New Alchemy Institute – a research and education center dedicated to organic farming, aquaculture, and renewable energy. Prior positions include serving as a water-pumping windmill specialist and an environmental education director with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He also authored books on wind-power and organic gardening.
Gary serves on several corporate and non-profit boards including Applegate Farms, Honest Tea, Peak Organic Brewing, The Full Yield, Climate Counts, SweetGreen, RAMp Sports, Stonyfield Europe, Glenisk, and the Danone Communities Fund. He is the chairman and co-founder of Stonyfield Café, a natural fast food restaurant company, and was recently appointed by President Obama to serve as a member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
In addition to receiving eight honorary doctorates, Gary has won numerous awards for corporate and environmental leadership, was named a Gordon Grand Fellow at Yale and in 2009, was named one of “America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs” by Business Week. Gary was also featured in 2009's successful documentary, "Food, Inc."
Stonyfield has also garnered several prestigious awards over the past few years including “Business of the Year – Manufacturing” (Business NH Magazine, 2009), EPA Clean Air Excellence (2009), “Business of the Decade – Manufacturing/Technology” (Business NH Magazine, 2010), “2010 Top 10 Leaders of Change Award” (The Foundation for Social Change and United Nations Office for Partnerships), “2010 Best Companies to Work For in the Granite State - One of the Five Best Large Companies to Work for in New Hampshire” (Business NH Magazine & NH Businesses for Social Responsibility), “Best Environmentally Friendly/’Green’ Business (New Hampshire Business Review, 2011), and the Institute of Packaging Professionals AmeriStar Award for Stonyfield’s Plant-based PLA Form-Fill-Seal Plastic Multipack Yogurt Cup (2011).