AD Paste Magazine Live Podcast!

BY: Gregg Adams (Vagabond Records & Tapes) Hey y'all! We recently got invited to visit the folks at Paste Magazine, (very cool, if u haven't checked them out, u need to!) and record a live studio podcast for everyone's listnin' & viewin' pleasha! (Trivia for AD and Paste Magazine fans - Speech was featured in the first issue in July 02 - rare, but try & find it!). Stay tuned to Paste for an exclusive interview with Speech, talkin' bout some exciting new music, recent collaborations and his overall views on music today. Hit us up and let us know what you think! Nick Purdy, publisher and co-founder of Paste joined AD for a recent performance at the July 5th Braves game and immediately suggested the podcast, which was a great time for all! Our thanks to the staff at Paste, especially Nick and Kevin Keller. Peace Read more!

Not Again?

"Modern Slavery Human bondage in Africa, Asia, and the Dominican Republic by Ricco Villanueva Siasoco This article was posted on April 18, 2001. When a ship carrying hundreds of people was recently turned away from Benin, Africa, officials suspected that the children on board were human slaves. The incident once again brought attention to the problem of slavery. At this moment, millions of men, women, and children—roughly twice the population of Rhode Island—are being held against their will as modern-day slaves. Modern Day Slaves Sometimes referred to as bonded laborers (because of the debts owed their masters), public perception of modern slavery is often confused with reports of workers in low-wage jobs or inhumane working conditions. However, modern-day slaves differ from these workers because they are actually held in physical bondage (they are shackled, held at gunpoint, etc.). Modern-day slaves can be found laboring as servants or concubines in Sudan, as child "carpet slaves" in India, or as cane-cutters in Haiti and southern Pakistan, to name but a few instances. According to Anti-Slavery International, the world's oldest human rights organization, there are currently over 20 million people in bondage. Where does this slavery take place? Who are the faces behind these atrocities? Slave Trading on Africa's West Coast The slave trade in Africa was officially banned in the early 1880s, but forced labor continues to be practiced in West and Central Africa today. UNICEF estimates that 200,000 children from this region are sold into slavery each year. Many of these children are from Benin and Togo, and are sold into the domestic, agricultural, and sex industries of wealthier, neighboring countries such as Nigeria and Gabon. UNICEF estimates that 200,000 children from West and Central Africa are sold into slavery each year. The most recent incident involved the MV Etireno, which was refused from ports in Gabon and Cameroon. When the ship reached Cotonou, Benin, in April, 2001, police began an investigation of the captain and crew. More adults than children were believed to be aboard. Chattel slavery in Sudan The enslavement of the Dinkas in southern Sudan may be the most horrific and well-known example of contemporary slavery. According to 1993 U.S. State Department estimates, up to 90,000 blacks are owned by North African Arabs, and often sold as property in a thriving slave trade for as little as $15 per human being. "There he found several Dinka men hobbling, their Achilles tendons cut because they refused to become Muslims." —from an ASI report on Sudanese slavery Animist tribes in southern Sudan are frequently invaded by Arab militias from the North, who kill the men and enslave the women and children. The Arabs consider it a traditional right to enslave southerners, and to own chattel slaves (slaves owned as personal property). Physical mutilation is practiced upon these slaves not only to prevent escape, but to enforce the owners' ideologies. According to an ASI report: "Kon, a thirteen-year-old Dinka boy, was abducted by Arab nomads and taken to a merchant's house. There he found several Dinka men hobbling, their Achilles tendons cut because they refused to become Muslims. Threatened with the same treatment the boy converted." In a detailed article by Charles Jacobs for the American Anti-Slavery Group (ASI), Jacobs recounts how a 10-year-old child was taken in a raid on her village in southern Sudan, and branded by her master with a hot iron pot. Child "carpet slaves" in India Kidnapped from their villages when they are as young as five years old, between 200,000 and 300,000 children are held captive in locked rooms and forced to weave on looms for food. In India—as well in other countries—the issue of slavery is exacerbated by a rigid caste system. Civil War Slaves Many of our images of human slavery, like the one above, date from the American Civil War. However, there are an estimated 200 million people in bondage today. The International Labor Rights and Education Fund is one organization that has rescued many of these child slaves. The group recalls this scene: "Children work in damp pits near the loom. Potable water is often unavailable and food consists of a few chapatis [bread balls], onions and salt...The children often are made to sleep on the ground next to their looms, or in nearby sheds. After working from ten to fourteen hours, they are expected to clean out their sheds and set up work for the next day." Shackled laborers in Pakistan Many of the bonded laborers are shackled in leg-irons in Pakistan. Though much of the debt these cane-harvesters have incurred is real, the practice of exchanging human labor for landowners' loans is illegal. In a 1992 law passed by the Pakistani government, landlords are barred from offering loans in exchange for work or to hold workers hostage to their debts. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has freed approximately 7,500 bonded laborers since 1995. By the commission's estimates, there are still roughly 50,000 bonded laborers in southern Singh. Many of those freed now reside in the city of Hyderabad in makeshift camps. Most are afraid to return to their homeland, however, for fear they will be recaptured and enslaved again. In the Dominican Republic, the collection of slaves for the busy harvest season is more random. The Dominican army, with the support of the State Sugar Council (known as the CEA), "hauls Haitians off public buses, arrests them in their homes or at their jobs, and delivers them to the cane fields," according to Charles Jacobs. Some of the cane-cutters sign on to work voluntarily. When the number of workers does not meet the harvest's demand, the Dominican army is set into action. The army's captives are forced to work at gunpoint and beaten if they try to escape. Beyond the Emancipation Proclamation Accounts of human beings as modern slaves extend beyond those described here, and include young girls sold into prostitution in Thailand and slave chattels in Mauritania. Though most Americans believe slavery was abolished with the Emancipation Proclamation more than a century ago, the horrors of human beings held in bondage flourishes today." Read more!

CNN Black In America

So far, I'm REALLY proud of CNN's Black in America! I was surprised, cuz usually TV does a wack job at addressing serious issues by using a bunch of "A-List" celebrities ie: Jay-Z, Chris Brown, or Russell Simmons to comment on our experience as if they are scholars on the subject. And CLEARLY they ain't. (No diss to them, let em do what dey do, leave social commentary to the big boys) We have been in an age where Tupac, Biggie, Nas, and the likes have had carte blanche on defining what our black experience is today! Soledad O'brien is doing a good job at showing many of the perspectives within the black experience. Yet balancing the responsibility to make it entertaining and appealing to CNN's wide audience. Our country has been plaqued with racism for so many years that I'm sure many whites will not even tune in. And blacks being dis-illusioned with media in general will surely have our judgments. I'm interested in hearing what our thoughts are. But my thoughts is that until we do our own documentaries on us then Hush up the mouth a bit cuz I think this one did a good job. It's always a trip to hear commentary from Michael Eric Dyson who is obviously intelligent yet I deeply disagree with some of his disses on Bill Cosby, and his tendacy to soften the blame of our own ignorance while keeping the fire hot on the systemic oppression that does exist. I'm also happy to see a wider range of blacks speaking about being black: Middle class, Rich, Poor, gang bangers, drug dealers, fathers, mothers etc. Usually we are so defined by violence or poverty that we leave out a great deal of our culture and reality. Read more!

Obama speaks in Berlin!

This man (a black American, even) is speaking about world unity in Berlin, Germany and the scope of his message is unprecedented from any other candidate in our lives! I am so PROUD of this moment in time. I pray that ALL of you will vote this November! Lift your voices and be involved in picking the next leader of the United States. My disciple family, my hip hop family, my friends of all walks of life and political beliefs. I am over-joyed to play a role in the inevitable realization of God's will. I hope you all see (at the least) the power of this moment. Those undecided about who to vote for, I hope you will deeply consider Barack Obama, and listen to the HOPE of his speech, pay attention to the scope of his vision, it is truly refreshing! The media will portray this moment as nothing to be too excited about. They will portray MCain, and Barack as two powerful opponents. But Barack is a more powerful candidate for this world we live! I know some older whites will NEVER vote for a black man, yet their own youth can reverse the racism and prejudice that has plaqued our world and country alike for far too long! The youth - get out and vote, not with just words, but with ACTION! I love yawl! Speech of Arrested Development Read more!

Booty (the lust & Sin of Todd)

Matthew 9:10-13(new international version) While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Ok, I'm a preacher for Jesus, ordained by His church. I'm happily & successfully married for over 13 years to my soulmate Yolanda, and I have two great kids. Yet, guess what else, I was addicted to lust & pornography, struggling like crazy to overcome it for 8 straight years! Now after that confession I could make myself feel better by talking about the huge role lust & porn play in this world, & how many others struggle with this too. Yet, I ain't gonna rattle off statistics, I'm not gonna make this about the masses. This is personal, this is about me & God. Why do I write it in my blog? Because I know I'm not alone.
The lives of Christians is gritty, its not the "rosey" picture many religious folks paint it out to be. What I write in this, is the true battle of a spiritual person. It's why Jesus had to come here. This is about a sin that grew larger & larger within me. And it seeked to wipe out my spiritual salvation! And I had to overcome it!
James 1:12-15 (New International Version) Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Since I was the age of 6, I remember lust being my personal little refuge. I've always been a visually stimulated guy. Being an artist, beauty in all forms stimulated me more than the average person, lust sort of fell easily into that fact. For years I really didn't think it was wrong to lust. I'm sure that I really knew it was wrong, but so many others did it, and outward expression of sexuality was so common, that I just rationalized the guilt away saying, "that woman wants dudes to look at her". However, in 1996 I became a disciple of Jesus. I studied out the holy scriptures, I learned the difference between right and wrong; what God desires and what he DOES NOT tolerate. It's been 12 years since then, and after many years of obedience, I still ended up falling into Satan's trap far too often, I gave into temptation so much, til I was caught in a loop: Sinning, feeling like a hypocrite, saying I'll NEVER do that again. Then later on, rationalizing my sin saying, "A lil lust won't physically hurt anyone". All the while I was allowing Satan to destroy my true purpose, my relationship with God and my family!
However, Jesus in his faithfulness and love spoke to me, and what he says is always humbling:
Revelation 3:19 (New International Version) Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Revelation 3:1-3 (New International Version) I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
Lust is never harmless. It harms, and it kills. Jesus Christ is serious about people putting an end to it!
Matthew 5:28-30 (New International Version) But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
Is there any way to lust after a woman, and it be harmless? This scripture answers that question:
Proverbs 6:27 (New International Version) Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Proverbs 6:23-25 (New International Version) For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes
The truth is, I tried to be pure, free from the chains of lust and porn. I confessed my sin (as the bible teaches), people prayed for me, I studied this issue out in the bible for years. I've joined "addiction" programs, put various blocking and accountability software on my computers, even went to a therapist for insight into my behavior. I had some victories, but it was hard to break the cycle! Why should I be surprised the bible speaks of this:
Proverbs 5:22-23 (The Message) Mark well that God doesn't miss a move you make; he's aware of every step you take. The shadow of your sin will overtake you; you'll find yourself stumbling all over yourself in the dark. Death is the reward of an undisciplined life; your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end. Yet in the book of James it shows there is still hope, even for a sinner! James 4:7-10 (New International Version) Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
When anyone runs to a false source of relief to deal with their problems, whether it be drinking, smoking, drugs, etc. There is a emotional state of arrested development, (halted or stunted growth). I feel because of my reliance on lust as a way to cope with my life's drama, I had the emotional maturity of someone much younger than I really was. That made it that much harder for me to resist when I was tempted in this area. Even today voices come into my head telling me, "look at her body, check her butt out, you know you deserve the thrill, its harmless." Listening to rap music, m.c's make lust out to be a great thing, all fun with no consequences. I all too often had been a hypocrite condemning hip-hop for it's saturation of women in bikini's yet in my lustful binges enjoying every minute of it! I was double minded in my convictions and therefore unable to embody the spirituality God intended for me to have! Deuteronomy 13:3-4 (New International Version) The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
I went to church, I even preached, I heard the message of Christ all the time! But hearing and doing is two different things! For me, I had repented many a Sunday, but fell again on "Monday". My inability to follow through with God's commands through the hard times had weakened my ability to withstand the worlds various lust-filled attacks on me.
Matthew 7:24-27 (New International Version) "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
Notice how Jesus never says there won't be storms in life, instead He states the difference of those who practice His word and those who simply hear His word. Followers need to hear and OBEY his word in those late hours of the night, or during that concert tour when all the women are dancing with revealing shorts on. And why should you deny this urge? Why should we resist these heavy feelings to lust after beauty or even fantasize? The reason can't be - fear of hell, or simply because the bible tells us to resist. It has to be because of a deep LOVE for God!
Deuteronomy 11:1 Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.
Deuteronomy 11:8 (New International Version) Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, and so that you may live long in the land that the LORD swore to your forefathers to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.
Isn't the point of a Christian; that he or she actually gets the fact that God is awesome? He showed His love for us by the death of Jesus. He constantly shows us love despite our sin.
Knowing what I know, how will I respond? How should any true believer respond?
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (The Message) Christ's love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.
But again, it's easy to give into temptation, especially if you had been "good" for a period of time. (feeling like I deserve a little lust - I deserve a break! yeah, But a break from Christ..?!)
But God says to me:
Galatians 6:7-9 (New International Version) Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
I many times fooled myself into thinking, if my wife, or a friend didn't catch me or "punish" me then I got away with it. But the truth is, God saw me and the consequences of my sin are still there! I'VE NOT GOTTEN AWAY WITH ANYTHING! Yet... God still can forgive! The truth is: I could have lost my wife literally, or at least her confidence in me because of this sin. I had lost some of my zeal in the Lord because of this sin. I had to repent! The thrill of sin's pleasure is not worth the price one has to pay.
I am successful, I have money, I travel a lot! I am my own boss and have a dream job. I have no particular person on Earth that I report to...but I am not free to sin. For the prize of salvation/heaven & a relationship with God... I willfully decided to follow Jesus, and be His slave!
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (New International Version) Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. Did I really believe that I could change this? Theoretically - YES! But practically - not quite! So, to this day, I consistently train myself how to think correctly through the scriptures.
God promises to me:
1 Corinthians 10:13 (New International Version) No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
There should be signs that tell the truth about lust: 1.) At the door of every strip club:IF YOU WANT TO GO TO HEAVEN! 2.) At the intro of 99% of all rap videos: THIS WILL MAKE YOU FALL FROM GOD'S WILL DO NOT RISK IT! 3.) Tattooed on the butt of every girl in the world: DEADLY - UNLESS THIS BUTT IS YOUR WIFE'S! 4.) On every Porn or Bikini site:DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!
To those fans of mine reading this: Many of my songs addressed my struggle: Slave of it all / The List goes on / Night Time Demons / I'm Ignoring You / Take The Challenge And from my upcoming solo album, "The Grown Folks Table" - Words Unspoken / Fading Away
For those that love me, watch for me (without judging). I tour around the world, If you see me starin' at a girls booty, remind me of my true role, and my love for God! If you see that I've straight up fallen off the horse, then question MY strength, not the validity of Christ. As all Christians we're striving to live up to the salvation that we've already attained.
Today's my birthday (Oct. 25th). I always wanna be the man that God intended for me to be. And in the immortal words of the negro soul group, Cameo....Word up! :-)
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Arrested Development’s Speech leads family corn business at Summerfest

written by: Tannette Johnson-Elie (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) Milwaukee-ans may remember Speech for his community-conscious music as the founder and producer of the Grammy Award-winning, alternative hip-hop group Arrested Development. Speech, whose real name is Todd Thomas, never forgot his Milwaukee roots after finding musical success. That’s good news for Summerfest-goers, who have come to depend on a tradition started by Speech’s father, Robert Thomas: Robby’s Roasted Corn. When his father suffered a stroke several years ago, the Rufus King graduate stepped up to keep the family business alive. Speech, who lives in Atlanta, purchased the business in 2005 and has returned to Milwaukee every year since to oversee his family’s corn business during the 11-day lakefront music festival. He even works his travel schedule around Summerfest. He’s currently touring with Arrested Development in the United States, Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia and the Middle East. Robby's Roasted Corn has three booths on Summerfest grounds: near the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse, in Briggs & Stratton's Big Backyard and near the M&I Classic Rock Stage. Over the past 30 years, Robby's has sold 3 million ears of corn at Summerfest and has employed hundreds of young people from the inner city. "I first learned how to work being at this corn house as a child," said Speech, 39. "The lesson of entrepreneurship, the lesson of striving to make opportunities for yourself and others, really ran strongly in my family. I feel proud that my family has had something to do with this tradition in Milwaukee." Although he declines to say how much money he's put into the business, Speech said, "We invest tens of thousands of dollars a year to put out something like this.". Translating success As an established entrepreneur, Robert Thomas, 72, was able to penetrate the circles of influence that help one get into a venue like Summerfest. Now, some business leaders hope Speech's fame and music industry connections can help raise the profile of Robby's Roasted Corn. "Speech is critical to keeping Robby's Corn alive and to African-Americans maintaining a presence at Summerfest," said Jim Thompson, a local festival vendor and former restaurateur who runs JT Bones Catering. "With his national and international recognition as a performer, he will be able to garner recognition for Robby's Corn above and beyond what his father was able to do." Quiet and unassuming, Speech on a recent afternoon was setting up for Summerfest not far from the stage where he performed last year. He is helped by his wife Yolanda, and their two children, Zoe, 11, and Jahi, 13. "It was very weird because I'm working the fest and I go change and I'm a superstar with the lights and the smoke and all that," said Speech, who is not performing at this year's festival. "When I'm done, I've got to go back and make sure things are OK with the corn roast. That doesn't happen at any other venue." Hustling corn in 90-degree heat is not the most glamorous job in the world and is certainly uncharacteristic for a critically acclaimed performer. "Running a corn operation, like running any food business down here, is very difficult," says Tracy Spoerl, Summerfest's director of concessions. "It takes a lot of energy. It takes a lot of planning. You're waiting on thousands of customers. It speaks to his character. It speaks to him supporting a family and carrying on a family tradition." Brand recognition The elder Thomas started Robby's Roasted Corn in 1977 with one booth and built it into a profitable venture that has fed generations of families from Milwaukee and throughout the region. Thomas, who learned to roast corn in rural Tennessee from his mother, was one of the first African-American vendors to secure a location at Summerfest. Before operating at Summerfest, Thomas had the kind of brand recognition and the caliber of product that festival organizers like to see. For many years, he ran a popular north side nightclub called the Fox Trap. He also ran a fast food restaurant, Robby's Drive-In, and a catering business, Robby's Catering. Those businesses enabled him to raise the start-up capital to secure a spot at Summerfest and to cover fees, equipment and labor costs. In addition, he had the right connections. A key friend was O.C. White, a politically connected radio disc jockey who was the first African-American vendor to break into Summerfest, where he sold ribs for many years. "If it hadn't been for O.C. White, I wouldn't be here," said Thomas as he gently rested his hand on a cane. "He was well-known in the city." Now, thanks to his hard work and sacrifice, Robert Thomas is passing down a Milwaukee tradition. He takes pride that his family has given the community a quality product for so many years, while supporting the musical interests of a famous son who didn't forget the community that gave him his start. Tannette Johnson-Elie writes about how small businesses and start-ups are using networking and business associations to tap the expertise needed to grow. She can be reached at (414) 223-5172 or by e-mail at telie@journalsentinel.com.. Read more!

New Belgium Brewing - More Companies Should Follow Their Lead - by G. Adams

Whether you realize it or not, we are smack, dab in the middle of what I'll call the 'age of anxiety pods'. Anxiety over the war in Iraq, the economy, gas prices, education and a litany of issues that can make the calmest of us quiver in our $200 running shoes. Today, I'll focus my anxiety pod on one that isn't just looming over, but actually includes the horizon - the environment and the different ways corporate America plays with it and in it.
The word 'green' has been transformed from a worthy environmental battle cry, to the most egregious corporate marketing ploy since Dubya introduced us to 'WMD'.
Corporations have become proficient in the use of green market buzzwords to help create the perception that they are the ethical and socially conscience stewards of the environment. There are corporate conferences like 'Good and Green, The Green Marketing Conference', helping companies like Coca Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Nike, Jet Blue Airlines, Bank of America, Allstate and many others position their image and message around being one with the earth. I'm not a marketing guy, but for pure entertainment value I would love to be a fly on the wall for the Jet Blue strategy session, ("let's begin with your company name, Jet Blue. We can work with that for now, but we need to lose the 'Airlines' thing"). In all seriousness, I would like to know which conferences, if any, these companies are signing up for that actually teach them how to be greener. One company that is walking the talk is New Belgium Brewing Company, (New Belgium Brewery) , based in Fort Collins Colorado. Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan, New Belgium's founders began brewing Belgian-style beer in their basement and by taking it commercial in 1991, became the first to brew and sell Belgian-style in the United States. That by itself is a pretty cool story, but what's truly remarkable is the belief system they instilled throughout the employee owned company and the impressive results achieved from those beliefs. Let's start with what I consider to be one of the few corporate 'mission statements', (New Belgium calls theirs 'What We Believe'), that actually guides culture and strategic direction:

What We Believe.

We believe, to be environmental stewards, we need to: 1. Lovingly care for the planet that sustains us. 2. Steward natural resources by closing the loops between waste and input. 3. Minimize the environmental impact of shipping our beer. 4. Reduce our dependence on coal-fired electricity. 5. Protect our precious Rocky Mountain water resources. 6. Focus our efforts on conservation and efficiency. 7. Support innovative technology. 8. Model joyful environmentalism through our commitment to relationships, continuous improvement, and the camaraderie and cheer of beer. Unlike most companies that I have been associated with, these words are more than something to talk about at the annual sales kick-off and post on conference room walls. These words have been translated into action! Having visited their facility on several occasions and spoken with a good cross-section of their employees across their footprint, I have seen the following claims from their website in action: - New Belgium has implemented many efficiencies in their brewing process, resulting in minimal use of primary energy to make their beer. They utilize UV blocking windows, sun-tubes, and light shelves for lighting at the brewery; use evaporative coolers that condition their 55,000 square foot packaging hall with no compressors, requiring much less energy - Methane produced by process water treatment is used to fuel a combined heat and power engine—or co-gen—which creates electricity and heat for the brewery. The co-gen offsets critical peak loads by creating electricity on-site from a renewable source — process wastewater. When the co-gen is running full-time, it can supply 15% of New Belgium's electrical needs. - In 1999, New Belgium became the largest private consumer of wind-power electricity at that time and the first wind-powered brewery. The most interesting part of this decision? When the employee's were told that the cost of wind power would have a less than favorable impact on their profit sharing pool, they voted unanimously in favor of the clean air option! - To encourage sustainable transportation, every employee gets a New Belgium custom cruiser bicycle after one-year of employment. - New Belgium has partnered with innovative companies like Solix and Oberon to further their status as good environmental custodians. Solix is developing the capability to make bio-diesel from algae, which has much higher yields per acre, and lower water and fuel inputs, than traditional bio-diesel crops. In support of those efforts, New Belgium will provide Solix with several acres of their property, CO2 from fermentation and warm water from their process water treatment plant. Oberon installed a small treatment plant next to New Belgium's that will use New Belgium process wastewater to harvest sludge, creating a high protein fish food for aqua-farms. If successful, it could provide the knowledge required to turn waste stream into a source of global nutrition. Since their inception, New Belgium has donated more than 2.5 million dollars through an organized philanthropic program, with a target of another $475,000 in 2008. Additionally, New Belgium became a member of 1% for the Planet in 2007. 1% for the Planet is a global network of environmentally philanthropic members with more than 800 companies and 1,500 non-profit organizations. Launched in 2001 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Matthews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies of Bozeman, 1% members have donated more than $30 million dollars since its inception. (onepercentfortheplanet.org.) In closing, I know what you must be thinking - he's got to be a shill for these guys! Let me reassure you that while I do love their product, (and most Belgian beers in general), what moved me to write this was my experience in visiting a company that I believe many in corporate America could learn from, transforming what for most is just a claim of being 'green friendly' into a reality. Peace, Gregg Adams
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