Organic Week in Brief
Jana Partners Acquires 9 Percent of Whole Foods
The 11 percent growth in demand for organic has made retailers like Whole Foods attractive to potential takeovers. Described as an activist investor, Jana Partners, now has an 8.8 percent piece of Whole Foods and is pushing for a possible sale and realignment of its Board of Directors. Whether Whole Foods will sell and to whom remains rife for the rumor mill. Click for more from Fortune Magazine.
Comment Deadline to USDA on GRO Organic Proposed Assessment Ends Next Week
All stakeholders in the organic produce community need to make their voice heard on the proposed GRO Organic assessment by April 19 or others could decide the future for research dollars and more. To date, more than 3,550 individuals have sent comments to USDA on whether an assessment on all organic products should be mandated in a new research, promotion and information order. To read the proposed assessment details, click here. Whether you support this effort or not, please click here to tell USDA your opinion.
Help for Handlers from USDA National Organic Program (NOP) Video
As organic demand continues its growth trajectory, many growers, processors and handlers now work across multiple supply chains and international borders. Because handlers have a key role in protecting the integrity of organic products from farm to market, the NOP published a short video about their responsibilities in verifying organic imports meet U.S. standards. The video also reviews the role of certifiers. In May, USDA will also be hosting webinars on the subject in greater depth. Click to access the video.
America’s First Certified Organic Drive Through
The next time you visit Chicago, look for Nic’s Organic Fast Food, in nearby Rolling Meadows. Everything on the menu uses certified organic ingredients. Choices range from chicken to burgers, from breakfast to grab and go lunches. Check out the Tractor Soda – all certified organic ingredients from lemongrass and root beer to blood orange and coconut with no artificial sweeteners. For more, click Nic’s.
More than 50 Bipartisan Members of Congress Sign Letter to Support Organic Ag Funding
A letter encouraging the U.S. Agricultural Appropriations Committee to continue to support funding for organic programs was circulated by Congressmen Peter DeFazio (OR-D) and Ron Kind (WI-D) on behalf of the Congressional Organic Caucus. The National Organic Program and Organic Transition Research Programs are among those the Caucus asks Congress to support. Take a moment to thank your representatives for their critical support for organic produce. To view the letter, click here.
"The future can’t happen fast enough. Organic produce has an untapped potential and we have no idea just how big this is.”
- Howard Nager, Sun Pacific
The future of organic certification for hydroponic, aquaponic, aeroponic, and other non-soil crops is likely to be decided next week at the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting April 19-21 in Denver. Vocal advocates on both sides present cogent arguments; the USDA received 2,000+ comments during its comment period, with more nays than yays.Read More
By Ashley Koff, RD
What’s red and sweet, and oh so fun to eat? Yeah, who doesn’t love strawberries?! This time of year, we love that these berries are back in season. But how to get people to focus on the need to choose organic strawberries more often. That’s where I come in.Read More
Audra, Alli and Adri Pura are a terrific trio of talent, each taking the organic produce community by storm in their own way. The girls' father, Stan Pura, is widely recognized as one of the country's most progressive and respected organic growers, spearheading Earthbound Farm organic vegetable program.
OPN’s Tonya Antle, caught up with the busy threesome to talk about their passion; and their dedication to improving the organic landscape for the better, while paying homage to the past.Read More
While millennials are regarded as best targets for organic produce sales, a pair of recently released studies show how this generation of 83 million consumers are using their wallets to influence the increased demand for fresh organic food.Read More
By Melody Meyer
It’s spring time in the Rockies and I will be heading to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) biannual meeting which provides an opportunity for organic stakeholders to give input on proposed recommendations and discussions. These meetings can decide the fate of organic farming and manufacturing for many years to come. Indeed the very future of organic is held in the hands of the 15 individuals on the board.Read More