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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton
Updated on Jul 27th, 2023
Fact checked by Emma Vince

Raglan Food Co 2023: Lifting the Vibe on Plant-Based Eating

DeliveryRank has the pleasure of chatting with Latesha Randall, co-founder of Raglan Food Co. When her partner faced allergies preventing yogurt consumption, Latesha embarked on a journey to create a dairy-free alternative. Alongside Seb, they founded Raglan Food Co, with Tesh experimenting in her kitchen to produce delicious vegan coconut yoghurt. Packed with probiotics for a healthy gut and digestion support, the yoghurt's coconut cream, enriched with lauric acid and vitamins, boosts immunity and enhances skin and hair health. 

Can you share the story behind Raglan Food Co and how you developed your vegan coconut yogurt?

It got off to an accidental start after offering a couple of homemade jars of coconut yoghurt on the local Raglan Noticeboard Facebook group after I’d made an extra big batch one day. I had 60 replies and only 2 jars to offer, so quickly realised that there was demand from people looking for a dairy alternative due to allergies, dietary choices, or just enjoying the taste! That was in 2014, so since then we’ve grown into selling over 25,000 jars per week, building our own 1,500sqm factory just outside Raglan township, and a team of 30 amazing humans working together to bring our product range to stores all around Aotearoa New Zealand, and of course now also launching in the USA!

What other products/services do you offer?

We have our ranges of 100% plant-based coconut yoghurt, featuring classic, everyday flavours like Natural, Vanilla Bean and Blueberry, and more gourmet options like Luscious Lemon and Decadent Raspberry. Then we also have our Kefir range of yummy yoghurty smoothies that are packed with probiotics, and our condiments range with Vegan Mayo and Vegan Aioli. We also have our Reforged brand (http://reforged.co.nz) which turns our empty coconut cream drums into funky, practical braziers that are retailed in Bunnings nationwide in New Zealand.

As advocates for plant-based eating, how do you ensure that your products are not only delicious but also high quality and sustainably packaged?

We are held to a very high standard by our B Corporation certification, which looks at every area of our business from how our ingredients are sourced, to our choice of packaging materials and how we treat our team and customers. We are constantly trying to improve and raise our certification score – at our last audit we achieved 111.2 points! We were the first yoghurt brand in NZ to package in a fully recyclable glass jar and this is something we’re very proud of.

Could you explain how your operating philosophy and principles shape the way you run your business and maintain the taste and quality of your products on an industrial scale?

Sure – we have our five philosophies published on our website (https://raglanfoodco.com/philosophies/), which include designing for simplicity and striving for efficiency, empowering others to do their best work, making the best products we possibly can on all fronts – ingredients, packaging, and sustainability, and taking responsibility for our impact on the world – aiming always to do more good than harm.

In terms of customer service, how do you prioritize building long-term relationships and earning trust by remaining in integrity with your values?

We want our customers to know how much we value and appreciate them, so we show this in many ways, through things like making sure we reply to any query we receive within 24 hours, running regular giveaways, taking the time to talk and connect at tastings and expos, and being as transparent as possible in our communications. We’re not always going to get it right, and we try to be upfront about this and let customers know if there’s been an issue or change.

As a company committed to environmental sustainability, what steps have you taken to reduce waste and minimize your carbon footprint, and how do you actively care for the planet in your operations?

We have been Carbon Zero Certified with Toitu since 2018, and this year we’ve levelled up our certification to Climate Positive – contributing back an additional 25% on top of offsetting our own total footprint, and also demonstrating that we’re giving back to the local and wider community through our RFC Community Fund and Vibe Lifter programs. 

If you would like to find out more about Raglan Food Co, visit https://raglanfoodco.com/

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