Patagonia’s CEO Shares The Playbook On Preservation & Provisions


It’s not everyday that you get an opportunity to sit down with the CEO of one of the most influential companies in the world, so when given the chance to speak with Ryan Gellert, who has helmed pioneering outdoor apparel and gear company Patagonia since 2020, we jumped at it.

We met Ryan at Natural Products Expo West 2024, where he was on hand to help promote and speak about Patagonia Provisions, a company division formed in 2012 that markets responsibly-sourced food and beverages, including a variety of tinned seafood along with kernza-based pasta and beer. Patagonia Provisions is led by general manager Paul Lightfoot, who is also the chair of the board of Regenerative Organic Alliance, a trade association that certifies food made with sustainably sourced ingredients.

Ryan has often said that whether the company is selling sporting apparel or smoked mackerel, Patagonia is guided by its mission of being “in business to save our home planet.” It’s a bold declaration and one that carries significant responsibility and dedication to a cause that seems increasingly challenging. 

In this episode, Ryan speaks about his leadership of Patagonia, which began during one of the most tumultuous periods in modern U.S. history. He and Paul also explain how Provisions fits into the company’s present and future, why an esoteric ingredient is at the foundation of its innovation strategy and how leaders of early-stage and emerging brands can actively incorporate sustainability and environmental responsibility into their business strategies.

In this Episode

0:35: Ryan Gellert, CEO, Patagonia & Paul Lightfoot, GM, Patagonia Provisions – The leaders talk about their respective experiences at Expo West (Ryan is a newbie, Paul is a veteran), Ryan highlights the importance of community and purpose in how he operates as a CEO before Paul discusses the origins of Patagonia Provisions, its three brand pillars and extensive use of perennial grain kernza. They also speak about Patagonia’s pricing strategy and how it factors into the company’s efforts to affect change, how educating consumers about sustainability and planetary health is central to its business and how communicate that information on product labels and how entrepreneurs can benefit from working with regenerative organic farmers and having a deep understanding of their supply chains.

Also Mentioned

Patagonia Provisions