OPN Connect Newsletter 10 · May 4, 2017

Weekly Top 5: Organic News You Need to Know 


Envisioning an Organic California


On May 1, Environmental Working Group (EWG) launched the Organic California project, inviting a group of leaders in organic food and farming to come together and consider the significant potential economic, environmental, and social benefits of catalyzing a very intentional increase in organic production here. The audacious mission? To make organic the prevailing system of food and agriculture in California through consumer awareness and advocacy. Organic luminaries like Gary Hirshberg (Stonyfield), Walter Robb (Whole Foods Market), Bob Scowcroft (Organic Farming Research Foundation), Todd Linsky (TLC Companies), Laura Batcha (Organic Trade Association) and 100 others participated.    

When it comes to organic, there’s no question that California plays a dominant role. California has the most certified organic farms and processors in the US and accounts for $12 billion of the total $43 billion organic market. As a result, California has the most “Organic Hot spots” (Organic Hotspots boost household incomes and reduce poverty levels — and at greater rates than general agriculture activity, and even more than major anti-poverty programs). Follow the journey and learn more here

Organic Produce Urban Gardens Program in Cuba

Chelan Fresh

Begun more than 30 years ago, a program to enhance Cuban diets of rice and beans is still giving Cubans fresh organic produce – even in bustling Havana.  The program produced more than one million tonnes of organic produce for Cuban cities along with teaching children how to plant and harvest.  Training is provided to local residents on organic farming techniques.  By 2019, program goals are to produce 1.2 million tonnes of organic produce on 10,000 hectares of urban farms.  Click for more from Live Trading News

The Organic Coup Opens in AT & T Park

The Organic Coup, America’s first USDA approved Organic fast food, opened its ninth location last month to sold-out crowds at AT & T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.  Fans jammed the new location during the team’s season opening home-stand, feasting on a completely organic menu offering of variety of chicken, side dishes and beverages-----all organic.

“We were approached by the Giants last year, as they were looking for a disruptive element to their food offerings to consumers,” said The Organic Coup co-founder Dennis Hoover.  “We’ve been steadily building our business throughout the Bay Area and for us to become part of the rich history and fan base of the San Francisco Giants was an easy decision.”  

Nature Safe

Hoover, a former Costco executive, co-founded The Organic Coop with another former Costco executive, Erica Welton, in 2016.  The pair will be delivering a keynote presentation at the upcoming Organic Produce Summit in Monterey, July 12-13.

OPN’s Tonya Antle Named Ag Woman of the Year

Monterey County Ag Against Hunger has named Tonya Antle its Ag Woman of the Year at its annual luncheon in Salinas on April 28.  The award seeks to honor women from Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties who have made outstanding contributions to agriculture. 

Antle, co-founder of the Organic Produce Network, said, ““My career and life’s work for the organic produce community has never been about me, but rather about delivering on the promise for our farmers, customers and consumers. To be recognized for my efforts makes me proud that I played a small role in making the organic choice viable.” 

Ocean Mist

Samantha Cabaluna, Jill Tebbe, Helena Beckett, Miranda Jackson, Jess Harris, Tonya, Ashley Pipkin, Amy Voogd, Sybil Chappell, Christa Schuck, Karen DeWitt

Harvard Report Touts Organic for Better Health

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Dr. Phillipe Grandjean co-authored a report commissioned by the European Parliament that outlines the health benefits of eating organic food and practicing organic agriculture.  The report, issued to Parliament this year, stresses health benefits of organic food and suggests policy recommendations which could be taken to increase organic consumption in the interest of health.  Click to see the report.



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