JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU) today announced the opening of the application period for the next round of its BlueBud business mentoring program. BlueBud offers innovative environmentally and socially responsible companies a unique opportunity for business mentorship and access to JetBlue’s senior leaders and unique product development culture. Applications are currently being accepted here through September 30, 2018.
As New York’s Hometown Airline®, JetBlue’s BlueBud program has historically focused on sustainable and pioneering food brands based in New York. However, as the largest carrier in Boston, JetBlue is extending the opportunity to small businesses in the greater Boston area for the program’s fourth year. JetBlue is also extending the focus beyond just budding food and beverage brands. This year, the program is open to other categories and products that can potentially be used onboard a commercial aircraft.
“We’re breaking the chicken and egg cycle between better-for-the world products, cost, and volume,” said Sophia Mendelsohn, head of sustainability and environmental, social governance, JetBlue. “BlueBud has provided invaluable advice to food and beverage companies. This year, we’re extending it to onboard products with responsible business practices. Although products aren’t guaranteed to go onboard, BlueBud helps expand our supplier pipeline with more diverse options.”
The BlueBud Program Mentorship:
The companies selected for this year’s BlueBud mentoring program will participate in an extensive business mentorship that will include:
- A tour of JetBlue’s Long Island City, NY Support Center, JetBlue’s home terminal – T5 at JFK Airport, and an airline catering station to understand how food gets onboard
- A trip to JetBlue’s orientation in Orlando to understand JetBlue’s culture and values
- Access to JetBlue teams including Strategic Sourcing, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Corporate Communications and Marketing, Brand and Onboard Product
- Travel to/from New York City for sessions with JetBlue leaders and business partners
Last year’s winners all focused on social impact and environmental innovation. Click to view stories about Luv Michael, 1857 Spirits and Toast Ale.
- - Their organic, gluten-free, and nut-free granola is made without harmful chemicals or toxic allergens. Luv Michael is focused on providing job training and opening up employment opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum, which now impacts approximately one in 68 children.”The granola crafted by Luv Michael can be purchased in more than 30 stores in the New York area.
- Barber’s Farm Distillery - Since 1857, the Barber family has farmed produce and dairy in Schoharie Valley, NY. Built on family and homegrown, high quality produce, Barber’s Farm Distillery brings a new facet to an already distinctive brand with its naturally gluten-free, farm-to-bottle 1857 Vodka. Barber’s Farm is one of the only distilleries in America growing its own potatoes and using its own spring water.
- - Focused on reducing wasted food, Toast Ale uses unsold loaves of bread from local bakeries to brew beer. Since Toast Ale first opened, 2,325 gallons of beer have been brewed using 1,375 pounds of bread that otherwise would have gone to waste. All of the company’s profits go to Feedback, a non-profit focused on anti-waste campaigns.
Applications are being accepted from New York City and Boston based companies with focuses in any or all of the following categories:
- Responsible businesses: Businesses focusing on making positive environmental and social impact.
- Intelligent businesses: Businesses making exemplary products focused on targeted needs.
- Informed businesses: Businesses that are innovative, diverse, and part of a curated experience.
- Homegrown businesses: Companies that support their communities and have Boston or New York as their hometowns.
Although participation in BlueBud does not guarantee that products will be offered onboard, JetBlue does look to welcome brands into the airline’s family in a variety of ways, when possible. Previous BlueBud participant Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce is available in JetBlue’s home terminal - T5 - in the New York Minute shop, a concept store that offers New York-produced products. Also, after a year of mentorship Hot Bread Kitchen learned what it takes to partner with an airline, and then pitched their product. JetBlue was so impressed, the airline offered the bakery’s challah rolls on its Mint brunch menu for several seasons. Luv Michael has also partnered with JetBlue to provide snacks and information on job opportunities for those on the autism spectrum during a recent Blue Horizons for Autism airport rehearsal event hosted by JetBlue at New York’s JFK Airport.
JetBlue's supplier diversity initiative provides a wide range of business partners with equal access to opportunities. BlueBud is an example of the airline's inclusive mindset -- impacting people, planet and profits. The airline's hope is to create greater access to JetBlue opportunities one BlueBud at a time. For more information or to apply for the BlueBud program visit here.
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 40 million customers a year to 103 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 1,000 daily flights. For more information please visit www.jetblue.com.
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