Victoria Fiore was a young college student when she audited a lecture on nonprofit management. She didn’t know anything about business, but she knew enough to think, “Why are businesses perceived as either evil corporations trying to screw the consumer or do-gooders making the best products but always losing money? There has to be a middle ground.”
There is—and Fiore found it as the director of brand strategy and mission at Plum Organics, the Emeryville, Calif.-based maker of organic foods for babies, tots, and kids and a subsidiary of the Campbell Soup Company. In her dual roles, Fiore oversees brand strategy while ensuring that Plum is a “force for good in the business world.” It’s a commitment that led Plum to structure itself as a benefit corporation and to earn certification as a B Corp. Both designations formally signal that social and environmental sustainability are as important as profits to Plum’s long-term strategy.
Fiore is a former Deloitte consultant who also worked in microfinance in India before attending Haas. She was recruited to Plum in 2012 as its first mission team hire. A year later, she launched the company’s Full Effect Program, which has donated nearly 12 million meals to low-income families.
She also oversees partnerships with several nonprofits and ad hoc, employee-created initiatives, including a 2014 decision to do a special run of 5,000 pouches of a discontinued cereal because it was one of the few foods a young cancer patient could eat.
“Nobody says, ‘Wait, we don’t have the money to do this,’” says Fiore. “Everybody, including the leadership, knows we’re in the business to help. And that’s what we’re going to do.” —Krysten Crawford
Director, Brand Strategy & Mission, Plum Organics