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.
Food systems contribute 19%– 29% of human-caused global greenhouse gas emissions, with agricultural production contributing around 90% of total food system emissions. Recent research has also shown that conventional farming systems degrade the carbon stores in our soils. Poor agricultural practices lead to a breakdown of soil organic carbon that then is released into the atmosphere as the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
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.
In the Summer 2017 Organic Report, we featured an article entitled “Organic fraud prompts action on import verification” describing the various avenues the Organic Trade Association was pursing to address organic fraud after the discovery of fraudulent soybean imports from Turkey. In addition to the trade association’s 2018 Farm Bill priorities that include a call for increased trade oversight, we reported on the Global Organic Supply Chain Integrity Task Force that had convened.
The continued success of our organic sector demands that organic standards be robust, consistent and clear to stay meaningful and maintain the integrity of organic and the organic seal.
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.