Back to the Future: Will the Tribe Move Us Forward?

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I was grateful to attend the Independent Natural Foods Retailers Association INFRA conference last week in beautiful Minneapolis, Minnesota. The legacy of food is reflected in the architecture that lines the mighty Mississippi. Signs of Gold Medal and Pillsbury’s Best are signals from a different era as they tower above dilapidated mills and stone river crossings.

A perfect place for the natural food retailers to reflect on the old and activate the new. Continue reading

Can We Really Afford to Pay For Cheap Food Any Longer?

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I found myself on a plane this week to mingle and speak at the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association  (INFFRA) conference in Minnesota. As the great desert gave way to the patchwork of midwestern fields, I was awed by the amount of food being produced beneath me.

The vast quantity of land and resources we have concentrated in this central breadbasket provides an abundance of inexpensive food.

In some ways, our food has never been so cheap, and in other ways, it has never been so expensive. Continue reading

Organic Trade is Changing in the EU…Are You Ready?

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On May 22ndthe European Council adopted new rules for organic production and labeling of organic products. One of the changes requires that existing trade arrangements be exchanged with trade agreements for all countries doing business with the EU. The new regulation will go into effect January 1st, 2021.

If you are currently exporting to or importing from the EU, it’s important to get engaged in the process now before the rules affect your business. Continue reading

Will This Year’s Farm Bill Serve Organic?

farm-bbEvery 4 years or so Congress passes a far-reaching piece of legislation that influences what food is grown, how it’s grown, and who gets access to healthy food. This, in turn, affects our soils, the quality of our water and the people who grow our food.

The Farm Bill addresses hunger, nutrition, and access to healthy local food.

It is also the primary funding for most Organic programs in the US. Continue reading

Headwinds and Hope : Organic Week in DC

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This not so much a factual account of my week in DC but rather a philosophical musing of the state of organic today.

I knew full well the political atmosphere in DC when I arrived—it is muddled with shear turbulence. So too the organic industry is experiencing a bumpy trajectory even as it streams ahead with over 6% growth.

Organic has been under a barrage of political threats and media scandals that just don’t seem to stop. Continue reading