Chobani, the yogurt aisle darling and maven of healthy snacks, is looking to check another box for ingredient-conscious shoppers: non-genetically engineered animal feed user. The company plans to launch three organic flavors in 2015.
“Understanding that the current supply of organic and other milk from cows not fed GMOs does not meet the soaring demand, Chobani is also committed to work with farmers on transition strategies toward a GMO-free and organic milk supply and to explore what 21st century sustainable dairy operations can entail,”
But saying the Norwich, New York,-based manufacturer has a steep climb ahead of it would be an understatement.
Chobani will announce today that it’s partnering with Green America, an environmental advocacy group, ‘in an effort to improve cattle feed in the U.S., including options for non-genetically modified and organic grains.’ The company has not set any mandates or deadlines. Right now, it’s just a conversation.
Very little non-GE feed exists because farmers tend not to be interested in producing it. Today, more than 90 percent of the corn and soybeans produced are genetically engineered - basically leaving two markets: the GE-feed market and the organic market. A non-organic, non-GE market doesn’t really exist. But Chobani could change that. Peter McGuinness, the chief marketing and brand officer at Chobani, said, “In order to solve this, we are going to have to increase the supply of non-GE corn [and soybeans] and that will probably make [feed] more expensive. And we will probably have to pay more for the milk, but those are discussions we are interested in having.” And, he added, “We don’t feel the pressure either from customers, consumers or activists. We just always want to do the right thing.”
Read full, original article: Chobani Begins Quest for non-GMO Feed-Based Milk (subscription)