HUDSON, Wis. — In keeping with longstanding efforts to promote sustainability and economic fairness for all, the privately owned Ciranda, Inc. today announced that 100 percent of its shares have been sold to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Ownership of Ciranda will be shared with all eligible employees through annual stock distributions, giving employees a growing ownership stake in the company. The sale became effective on October 1, 2017, at the start of the company’s fiscal year.
“Our employees inspire us every day with their passion and creativity,” said Ciranda CEO Hans Friese. “The ESOP allows us to transition the company into the hands of those who have helped build it, and those who will join us in the future.”
The company currently employs 44 people. Respect for people and their efforts has always been at the heart of the company, according to Friese. In the last fiscal year, Ciranda purchased more than half of its ingredients as certified fair trade. The fair trade premiums provide farmers, many from underdeveloped areas in Asia and South America, with a living wage and an opportunity to improve the social and economic conditions of their families and communities.
Founded in 1994 by Hans and Joan Friese, Ciranda supplies certified organic, non-GMO and fair trade ingredients to the organic food and personal care industries, a fast-growing market exceeding $40 billion in the U.S. The couple will continue to be active in the daily operations of Ciranda following the sale.
By establishing an ESOP, the founders hope to inspire and reward valuable employees and preserve the company culture for years to come.
“We wanted to ensure that the life of the company would continue. There are so many people who depend on our business – not only employees and their families, but also customers, farmers, producers and their families around the world,” said Joan Friese.
The ESOP will be added to Ciranda’s already generous benefit package which includes competitive salary, Health/Life/ADD/STD/LTD insurance, Safe Harbor 401k, paid time off, complimentary yoga and meditation sessions, and potential annual bonus and profit sharing opportunities.