Naperville, IL – January 11, 2022 – KeHE Distributors (KeHE), one of the largest and most respected grocery and natural distributors in North America, has announced its newest partnerships for the KeHE CAREtrade® class of 2022. The CAREtrade initiative recognizes and supports mission-based brands and products that are advancing a higher purpose, giving back to communities worldwide, and working to truly make the world a better place.

“KeHE is dedicated to serving our communities and making a positive social impact globally. This incredible group of brands selected for CAREtrade 2022 demonstrate the same passions and values we have for improving the lives and helping our most vulnerable populations,” said Laura McCord, Executive Director of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility. “We’re thrilled to partner with this class, as they are making a conscious choice to serve others through their products.”

Bridging the gap between KeHE and its philanthropic arm, KeHE Cares®, the CAREtrade program is the next evolution of serving. Through the program, KeHE works shoulder-to-shoulder with like-minded suppliers and retailers to bring mission-based brands to shoppers looking for a deeper connection with the products they purchase.

The CAREtrade class welcomes five new brands to join the program including Heart Water, Imlak’esh Organics, Live Love Pop, Our Gorongosa, and Rishi Tea. The remaining five will continue in the program for a second year, graduating at the end of 2022, including Chickapea, KiZE, Small Axe Peppers, Teeccino, and Ziba Foods.

Below are the brands that CAREtrade is partnering with this year. Honorees range from companies that create organic coffee and healthy snacks to organic pasta and more.

Heart Water
Heart Water® is an ultra-filtered alkaline rainwater, offering one of the purest and most sustainable water sources on the planet. It is free of chemicals, micro-plastics, and harmful toxins found in groundwater – and comes in durable, refillable, and recyclable aluminum bottles. 23% percent of its profits go to the Heartwater Foundation® whose mission is to provide clean drinking water to water challenged communities around the world.

Imlak’esh Organics
Imlak’esh Organics curates a line of Plant-Based, Keto, Paleo, and Immunity Boosting functional snacks that delight the community with delicious and unique flavors. They are an LGBTQ certified company that takes pride in developing organic & ethical supply chains that benefit diverse small farmers around the world. Imlak’esh is building a bridge with small farmers to bring super nuts and regenerative cacao to the people in support of culture and biodiversity.

Live Love Pop
After the founder’s mother was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer, Live Love Pop was launched and the mission behind it became the core pillar of the brand. They aren’t just here for popcorn — they are here to make a difference in this world. Live Love Pop is not only healthy and wholesome but it’s also a snack that gives back. Through their Selfless Snacking campaign, they support the following organizations they support are leaders in Breast Cancer Research, Fighting Hunger, Veteran’s Health Programs, Pediatric Cancer Research, Alzheimer’s Research, Empowering Victims of Human Trafficking, Cardiovascular Medical Research and Youth Development Programs.

Our Gorongosa

Our Gorongosa does coffee differently. They work with more than 850 Mozambican farmers who earn a sustainable income from their coffee harvests while supporting the rainforest at the same time. 100% of the profits from every bag of coffee sold go back to Gorongosa National Park. Profits support girls’ education, wildlife conservation, and rainforest reforestation activities that benefit farmers, their communities, and the ecosystem they call home.

Rishi Tea
Rishi Tea was founded on the commitment to set the standard for quality and expand the awareness of tea and its rich, inspirational tradition. They offer premium tea and botanicals imported directly from gardens across the world. Their commitment to sustainability is a core part of their mission that stems from the organic tea grown without the use of agrochemicals like pesticides and fertilizers, are generally healthier for the environment, farmers and tea drinkers alike.

Chickapea is a nutritious, high-protein and organic pasta made with only chickpeas and lentils. Their new +Greens product line adds spinach and kale making it an easy way to get protein and greens. Chickapea partners with Community Food Centres Canada and The New Farm (the leading regenerative farm in Canada) to help solve two of the biggest crises our planet is facing right now— climate change and food insecurity.

KiZE was created with a mission and passion to help others become their best self every day and they strive to make a positive impact in the community, both locally globally. Each purchase impacts a community of 1,000 children in Haiti and helps serve the poor, hungry, and youth in the Oklahoma City area. These delicious bars are comprised of simple, high-quality, and real food ingredients with a dessert-like taste and texture for the perfect grab-and-go snack option.

Small Axe Peppers
Small Axe Peppers has created a sustainable economic model on a national scale that empowers community gardens and their social justice missions. Community gardens are amazing resources in urban areas that are too often under-served. Each garden has a unique social mission, informed by the needs of the surrounding areas. From high school students to immigrants and refugees, community gardens are places where people from all backgrounds and walks of life can come together. Throughout the growing season, gardeners sell the peppers back to Small Axe at a premium to produce Small Axe hot sauce, creating a sustainable revenue stream for vital community development work

Utilizing unique botanicals from developing countries, such as wild-harvested ramón seeds, Teeccino creates new sources of income to empower individuals, particularly women, in rural communities. Teeccino supports nutrition education programs and also donates to rainforest preservation, poverty relief, and 7 different NGO’s whose information they publish on their tea box lids. Teeccino’s roasted herbal coffees and teas with heart-healthy potassium, cleansing dandelion, wellness mushrooms, adaptogenic herbs, and prebiotics are sure to be a hit amongst consumers seeking more functionality from their daily cup.

Ziba Foods
Ziba’s range of dried fruits and nuts are sustainably sourced, nutrient-dense, and superior-tasting alternatives to conventional brands. Non-GMO and higher in protein and healthy fats, Ziba’s products are unique heirloom and wild-grown varieties ethically sourced across regions of Afghanistan – a country that in the 1970s was a top global exporter of superior quality dried fruits and nuts before the ensuing conflict and economic instability. Ziba Foods is backed by a social mission of improving the lives of farmers and marginalized women in Afghanistan, as well as ongoing traceability and transparency programs.

For more information about KeHE Distributors and the CAREtrade initiative, visit

About KeHE

KeHE Distributors®, LLC (KeHE) is the largest, pure-play distributor of natural & organic, specialty, and fresh products to more than 30,000 natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers, and other specialty products retailers throughout North America. With over 5,500 employee-owners, KeHE, a Certified B Corporation, drives its mission of serving to make lives better and bringing the next level of goodness, crazy GOOD™, throughout all aspects of its operation. For more about KeHE, visit or check out our social media channels: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.