Kalsec® Social Responsibility

For more than 50 years, Kalsec® has delivered a brand built on honesty, integrity, dependability and trust. The foundation of our business is rooted in our ability to capture the essence of antioxidants, colors, flavors and hop extracts directly from nature, and to develop ingredients using ethical, safe and environmentally sustainable practices.

Our commitment to these practices is driven by our responsibility to each and every stakeholder in our business and by our role in the global community. As a global citizen, we strive to respect and nurture the environment and communities from which we derive our livelihoods. We honor the needs and expectations of our customers and the consumers who trust us to provide safe and wholesome ingredients.

We stand behind our environmental and social stewardship, and the belief that it is only through the success of the people we work with that we will endure and prosper.


3 out of 4 employees participate in Kalsec® sponsored charitable activities or the company matching gift program.


Approximately 67% of our raw spices, herbs and vegetables are sourced from Kalsec® developed seeds, farms or long-term grower relationships.

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More than 3 million kilos of our spice by-product stream is composted and recycled every year.


Community Involvement and Employee Development


We promote the education and growth of the people who make up our communities. Kalsec® has financially supported and provided an endowed scholarship at EARTH (Escuela de Agricultura de la Region Tropical Humeda) University, a private, not-for-profit institution located in the tropics of Costa Rica. EARTH’s mission is to prepare leaders with ethical values to contribute to sustainable crop development and to construct a prosperous and just society. The tropics are the source of many of our raw materials. Since 1993, we have consecutively hosted interns at our corporate site and local operation. We also support student internships in source countries such as Peru, where interns recently worked with local farmers to reduce the use of pesticides, enabling them to meet international standards.


The Kalsec® Charitable Activities Team (KCAT) organizes activities and fundraising programs for charities that directly impact our local and global community, including United Way, Meals on Wheels, Emergency Relief and Salvation Army. For example, through KCAT, close to 100 local families are helped each holiday season with gifts and support. Kalsec® provides matching gifts to encourage employee participation.

We nurture a culture for our employees driven by diversity, creativity and innovation, while respecting everyone’s desire for stability and work/life balance. Career development, training and high levels of employee engagement are an important part of the Kalsec® work environment.

The Kalsec® Center for Sustainable Brewing Education was developed in conjunction with Kalamazoo Valley Community College and provides brewing science education utilizing sustainable brewing practices.

Fair Operating Practices

We believe in conducting business ethically and with integrity in each of the communities we serve. We also want to positively affect and contribute to our global community of customers, suppliers, employees and investors.

We support the social well-being of those whose efforts provide the quality ingredients that are the foundation for our products. This means being uncompromising in observing and complying with the legal standards and social mores of diverse cultures.

Kalsec® is a member of Sedex and follows the International Standards provided by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) base code, covering practices from supply chain through working conditions. More information on ETI can be found at www.ethicaltrade.org.


Kalsec® continues to develop innovative ways to responsibly produce and improve our naturally-sourced ingredients.

Our plant breeding program is focused on improving the yield of our non-genetically modified spices and herbs while reducing water consumption and pesticides. Our patented extraction process in Southwest Texas produces organic suitable spice extracts without the use of any solvents. Agricultural operations in Texas and Oklahoma provide raw materials, such as our chili peppers, that can be traced to the individual fields for quality and safety. Three-fourths of our current innovation activities are focused on replacing chemical or petrochemical products and processes.

Kalsec is a member of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI Platform). The SAI Platform was created in 2002 by the food industry to actively promote the worldwide development of sustainable agriculture, involving different stakeholders of the food chain. The SAI Platform supports sustainable agricultural practices including the efficient production of safe, high quality agricultural products, in a way that protects and improves the natural environment, the social and economic conditions of farmers, their employees and local communities, and safeguards the health and welfare of all farmed species.


The increasing scale and complexity of environmental issues demand that we go beyond simply managing environmental risks – as a global citizen, we must lead. Beginning with the physical site Kalsec® inhabits, our environmental stewardship is embedded in all facets of our local, national and international operations.

Protected Habitat

The Kalsec® site is part of a fully integrated multi-use development that includes more than 100 acres of protected forest, open areas and hiking trails. All residents are members of a property owners’ association whose mission is to protect the wildlife and habitat for the benefit of the local community.


At Kalsec®, all of our cooling water is recycled and recharged to the ground. The recharge ponds provide a riparian habitat for fish and wildlife. Maintenance of our wastewater system is based on monitoring technology and novel mass flow technology for emissions control.


More than 3 million kilos of our spice by-product stream is composted and recycled as compost under permits from the Department of Environmental Quality in Michigan. It is also certified for use as a soil amendment on food crops. By composting, we’re reducing methane, a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide from landfills. Through composting, local farmers are using a natural organic fertilizer on their farm fields as an alternative to chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

We have increased recycling rates within the Kalamazoo manufacturing facility from 18 to 52 percent over the past five years. During that time, our waste to the landfill has also decreased by 15 percent.


Kalsec® installed more than 700 solar energy panels at our U.S. manufacturing operation in Kalamazoo, Mich., and at our U.K. facility.  Harnessing clean solar energy to reduce carbon emissions, the solar energy installation is part of the company’s long-term commitment to reduce its carbon footprint. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 31 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from electric power. “We believe this commitment to the environment and community is what good business practices are all about. This project will not only contribute to our bottom line, it will create jobs in the community and will reduce our annual carbon footprint by 150 tons,” says Kalsec® CEO George Todd. 

Please click to read our Ethics Policy

Ethics Policy