The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Big Food Increasingly Purchasing Organic Brands

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This follows what I’ve come to know of large corporations.  They don’t create anything new – just use their money and clout to take over companies that are profitable,

Peter Whoriskey investigates how large corporations are taking over organic brands in his May 10th article in The Washington Post.  He cites Myra Goodman, who with her husband founded the major organic label Earthbound Farm in 1984,  She argued in a TED talk last year that the growth has benefited everyone.

She spoke just a few months after it was announced that Earthbound Farm would be sold to dairy producer WhiteWave Foods for $600 million.

“We don’t want organic to be an exclusive club,” she told the audience. “The benefits of organic farming are just too huge.”

Noting that only about 4 percent of food sales go to organic products, she said that “the organic industry is way too small.”

Others, however, have warned that the arrival of conventional food companies could change the industry.

Nature’s Path, a large family-run label, is one of the largest organic companies to continue to rebuff corporate investors. Arjan Stephens, the son of the founders and a company vice president, said the family has been dismayed at times by the acquisition of organic brands by conventional food companies.

“We have witnessed the sale of numerous organic brands to big food and have also seen how many of those brands have struggled to retain their soul,” he said. “While we support the growth of the organic industry, the purchase of many independent brands has come at a price. . . . (T)he long-term effect often comes with a diluted product line, a change in company values . . . and decisions based solely on profits not people.”

Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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