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With organic sales booming, proponents aim to recruit more farmers to reduce reliance on foreign imports

| | April 22, 2015
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

While consumer demand for organic is booming, the supply of organic ingredients and agricultural products, particularly grains and animal feed, lags far behind.

“The demand for organic has skyrocketed, but with a three-year transition [to organic production], the supply hasn’t caught up,” says Errol Schweizer, executive global grocery coordinator at Whole Foods Market. “There has been a mass awakening among consumers for organic, but not a mass awakening in the farming community.”

Shauna Sadowski, Annie’s director of sustainability, reached out to colleagues at Stonyfield Farm, Organic Valley, Clif Bar, Grain Millers, and the OTA. This led to the formation of the U.S. Organic Grain Collaboration.

Based on an Sustainable Food Lab (SFL) report and discussions among members, the collaborative decided to launch two pilot projects to test approaches needed to grow the supply of organic grain. Aroostook County, Maine is one of the regions, and the other is the Northern Great Plains.

Related article:  There's 'Big Ag' and 'Big Organic'—How much does 'big' matter when it comes to sustainability?

“We want to understand the differences in each place and how private companies can invest to address those challenges,” Reaves says.

SFL will host workshops in both regions based on information gathered in interviews with stakeholders. Then it will design short- and long-term strategies for increasing organic supply in both regions.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the variety of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Organic Food Companies Collaborate to Increase Grain Supply 

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