Yellow Seed Operating Principles

The following principles allow us to achieve Yellow Seed values: Transparency, Agency, Community-Powered, (Participation) Wholeness


It's almost impossible for any one organization to effectively monitor its entire supply chain. Yellow Seed makes that supply chain public to allow anyone to report issues or challenges.Due diligence is a process of surfacing references and information from trusted sources in addition to 3rd party audits and certifications, to provide verification. For example, if a company says, “No, we’re not cutting down the rainforest,” the next step is to ask, “How do you know?” and “Who says?” At the core of verification is a system that allows everyone to have a voice, and contribute to Yellow Seed’s trust-based platform.

Continuous Improvement and Feedback

Creating a way of being that continually improves conditions and the life of any given stakeholder happens through a dynamic process rather than in pursuit of any single directive or end result. Continuous improvement is guided through organizing principles and a clear process and commitment of all involved.Systematic feedback loops are critical to building mutual accountability of all parties and supporting a joint learning process. Anyone has the power to comment, voice feedback and suggest areas for improvement. Challenges that surface become opportunities for improvement and targeted action.

Shared Power

Shared power refers to distributing the authority for processes of decision-making, creation, implementation, evaluation and ownership among active participants and stakeholders. This requires a change in structure from hierarchical systems where the dominant power is determined by who controls the finances or information to structures that allow for greater participation and autonomy, with thoughtfully designed roles and processes to allow a diversity of participants to wield influence. Shared power requires participants to have open access to information about the big picture and involves setting goals, analyzing results and deciding how the resulting designs will be applied. An environment that nurtures creative input and trust can deepen insight and continued innovation.

Activate and Align Differences

Better outcomes can be achieved when differing perspectives are thoughtfully engaged. One's perspective does not invalidate another’s point of view. A “Yes, And” approach is encouraged. Holding differences, and open listening to opposing views while maintaining one’s own perspective, helps us see connections and relationships that may appear separate or mutually exclusive. Yellow Seed creates multiple channels for input to invite different participation styles and experience levels. This principle makes win-win solutions possible, providing individual and collective benefit.


Our dominant trade systems perpetuate structural inequity. Yellow Seed was designed at its core to ensure equal access to opportunity, and fair wages that honor individual contributions to the land, people and markets. We will be successful, and achieve the vision of Conscious Trade, when each person who contributes to that system is celebrated and compensated in alignment with a broader perspective of value, beyond simple financial contributions.

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