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Pensador becomes first B Corp mezcal

London-based brand Pensador has become the world’s first mezcal to be awarded B Corp certification.

Pensador B Corp
Pensador is the first mezcal brand to be given B Corp certification

B Lab, the not-for-profit behind the B Corp movement, awarded Pendador’s parent company Meanwhile Drinks with the certification after it achieved a score of 92.9 in its final assessment.

Applicants are required to reach a benchmark score of 80 while providing evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices relating to energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity and corporate transparency.

Chris Turner, executive director of B Lab UK, said: “We are delighted to welcome Meanwhile Drinks to the B Corp community. This is a movement of companies who are committed to changing how business operates and believe business really can be a force for good.

“We know that Meanwhile Drinks is going to be a fantastic addition to the community and will continue driving the conversation forward.

“Welcoming Meanwhile Drinks is an exciting moment because it has an opportunity to lead the way within the drinks industry. We and the rest of the B Corp community are really pleased to support Meanwhile Drinks in paving the way for a new way of doing things”.

Meanwhile Drinks launched Pensador in 2018; the brand offers a range of artisanal mezcals from the Miahuatlán region of southern Oaxaca.

Its portfolio consists of three expressions: Pensador Espadín, Pensador Ensamble, and Pensador Especial.

‘Rigorous’ certification process

Ben Schroder, founder of Meanwhile Drinks, commented: “The idea behind Meanwhile Drinks has always been to make products which we want to buy: products which are excellent value, delicious, and meaningful; ‘meaningful’ referring to the concept behind the brand, as well as its impact on the planet, suppliers, customers, and the wider industry. For this reason we have a natural synergy with B Lab UK and the core principles behind B Corp certification.

“After the long and rigorous certification process, we’re excited to be a part of the B Corp community which we hope will be a catalyst for more positive change.

“Mezcal is a culturally and sociologically sensitive category. We’re working with a heritage product made by producers in underserved and financially vulnerable communities. For this reason, our producers’ welfare is at the heart of our supply side decisions, which is a mentality which we would like to promote in the industry.

“We’re thrilled that Pensador is the world’s first B Corp-certified mezcal and we hope that this announcement can help to spread our way of thinking about mezcal brands’ responsibilities to their suppliers.”

Pensador’s high score was achieved in part due to its charitable pledge, which sees 10% of proceeds donated to community projects in Miahuatlán. The pledge was started in spring 2021 with funds from the company’s first year being used to address water insecurity in San Isidro Guishe.

The project then began in July 2022, and is being managed by American NGO (non-government organisation) Sacred Agave, which focuses on improving the lives of people who live in the areas where heritage agave spirits are made.

Pensador is the second brand in the wider agave spirits category to be awarded B Corp certification, following Mijenta Tequila’s  certification in August 2022.

To mark B Corp month (March) we rounded up 10 B Corp certified brands that are leading the way to a greener future.

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