NORWICH, N.Y. — Chobani today announced that VICE debuted a new documentary called “Moving Humanity Forward,” a film focused on Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya’s “anti-CEO” playbook, his people-first business philosophy and refugee advocacy work, and the food maker’s efforts to rebuild an upstate New York community.
Directed by Nirit Peled, “Moving Humanity Forward” debuted on VICE and VICETV.com on Monday, February 15. The documentary follows the lives of refugees who live in the Utica, New York region and are employed by Chobani, showcasing the positive impact refugee integration in society has on business and communities. The film’s heart can be summarized by Ulukaya’s belief that “the minute you get a job, that’s the minute you stop being a refugee.”
“Once you start doing work on humanity there is this magnet – it just takes you,” says Ulukaya in the film. “We must put social issues: our community, our people, in the center. And let profit come after. And it will come.”
“This documentary exemplifies the rippling effect that a purpose-led brand like Chobani can have not only on its employees and local communities, but on a global scale,” said Jesse Angelo, President, Global News and Entertainment, VICE Media Group. “At VICE, it’s always rewarding when we can partner with a brand that shares our core values, and the story of Hamdi and his team, is one we are immensely proud to tell.”
Since Chobani was founded over a decade ago, the food maker has always been a different kind of company. After moving to New York as a Kurdish immigrant from Turkey, Ulukaya found that in America, anything is possible. Not only did he make delicious, nutritious, natural and accessible Greek yogurt right here in the U.S., Ulukaya reignited communities, stood up for marginalized people and demonstrated a new role for business in society.
Chobani employees come from every conceivable background. At the company’s plant in upstate New York, for instance, employees include people from Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and Nepal, resettled as refugees often following violent and difficult experiences in their home countries. Seeing firsthand how hard working refugees and immigrants are in our own plants, Ulukaya was compelled to dedicate his personal wealth and time to the global refugee crisis. In 2016, Ulukaya started the Tent Partnership for Refugees to mobilize the global business community to include refugees, and as of 2021, over 140 major companies have shown their commitment to the cause.
Robust employee benefits package are also central to Chobani’s core, including a commitment to pay a starting wage of at least $15 at the company’s manufacturing plants, paid parental leave, a commitment to pay equity, and Chobani Rewards — an initiative that allows every full-time employee to share in the growth of Chobani over time.
At the same time, Chobani has grown to become more than a yogurt maker, now selling oatmilks, ready-to-drink coffees, probiotic drinks, and dairy- and plant-based creamers. Chobani is now a modern food company, continuing with its founding mission of bringing better food to more people.
For more information about Chobani, please visit http://www.chobani.com.
Our founding mission is “better food for more people” but over a decade later, as we’ve grown from a yogurt company to a food-focused wellness company, Chobani has expanded its guiding vision to achieve nutritional, social, and environmental wellness. Leading the change is Chobani’s ambition “to make universal wellness happen sooner.” In short, Chobani uses food as a force for good, focusing philanthropic efforts on humanity and giving a portion of the company’s annual profits to support the needs of our communities. As the maker of America’s No. 1-selling Greek Yogurt brand, Chobani has since expanded its portfolio to include oatmilks, ready-to-drink coffees, probiotic drinks, and dairy- and plant-based creamers. All Chobani products are kosher certified, and are made without any artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. With manufacturing in New York, Idaho and Australia, Chobani products are available throughout North America and distributed in Asia and Latin America. For more information, please visit www.chobani.com and www.facebook.com/chobani
About VICE Media Group
VICE Media Group is the world’s largest independent youth media company. Launched in 1994, VICE has offices in 35 cities across the globe with a focus on five key businesses: VICE.com, an award-winning international network of digital content; VICE STUDIOS, a feature film and television production studio; VICE TV, an Emmy-winning international television network; a Peabody award-winning NEWS division with the most Emmy-awarded nightly news broadcast; and VIRTUE, a global, full-service creative agency with 25 offices around the world. VICE Media Group’s portfolio includes Refinery29, the leading global media and entertainment company focused on women; PULSE Films, a London-based next-generation production studio with outposts in Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Berlin; I-D, a global digital and bimonthly magazine defining fashion and contemporary culture; and Garage, a digital platform and biannual publication converging the worlds of art and design.