Millennials. The term has recently come under scrutiny for being overused at best and pejorative at worst. We’ve blamed this demographic for a variety of societal and economic ills, the conditions for most of which were set decades before their birth.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennials are the largest population group. Born between 1981 and 1997, they number 75.4 million, and have recently surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest group of voting-age American adults.
Although restaurants in the United States offering organic food don’t need to be certified to do so, one fast casual restaurant has chosen that route to become the first USDA certified organic fast food restaurant chain in the nation—a fact it has trademarked.
As CEO of an organic marketing company that represents over four thousand acres of organic permanent crop production and more than one hundred and fifty different growers, there are always more than enough concerns to go around, from water, to labor, to new crop diseases. As if that were not enough, all of us, as organic industry players, are fighting the continued struggle of protecting the image and integrity of our common brand and mission: Organic.
LUNDBERG FAMILY FARMS has partnered with Thai Organic & Fairtrade Agriculture Group—a network of Thai rice farmers—to bring organic, Fair Trade Certified™ Thai Hom Mali Jasmine Rice to U.S. retail shelves. The rice is grown in the Mekong River Valley of Thailand’s Amnat Charoen Province. The rice products are available in four pre-cooked microwavable pouches—white, brown, red, and red and white blend (www.lundberg.com).
Amy’s Kitchen has broken ground in Goshen, NY, for the construction of a 369,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center. Completion is scheduled for 2018, and will create 700 new jobs.
Aurora Organic Dairy Corp. is investing $100 million to build a new dairy processing and warehouse facility in Columbia, MO, to help facilitate distribution to the eastern United States. The company expects the plant to be fully operational in 2019.
Organic is not just for eating anymore! Twenty-four cutting-edge and innovative organic fiber lifestyle brands and support businesses making up the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) Fiber Council proved that point in an inspiring, educational and entertaining two-day organic fiber pop-up event in the heart of Manhattan.
The U.S. is the largest organic market in the world representing more than half of all consumer sales for organic products globally. Consumers now enjoy all types of organic products from apples to ziti, but this abundance and variety are not possible without trade. The global organic industry continues to grow, with over $81.6 billion USD in 2015. According to FiBL, over 179 countries around the world have organic activities with over 2.4 million organic producers worldwide. As the global industry matures, the importance of trade and tracking increases.
Serafina Palandesh and her wife Chef Jen Johnson are on a mission to have their company’s organic chicken nuggets in every household freezer in the United States one day.
This is an ambitious goal for a young start-up company. However, Hip Chick Farms—an organic frozen poultry brand that Serafina and Jen bill as “ethical, organic and tenderly delicious”—is already making huge progress, thanks to a $2 million investment in August 2016 from Advantage Capitol Partners.