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LAT: "Growers Shed Organic Label, Keep Roots"
Posted by on October 14, 2002 4:18 PM | Permalink
(...) But others are wondering if their victory will have unintended consequences, such as putting organic farmers out of business. Some organic farmers fear the costs of complying with federal standards, and the paperwork, and will not seek certification. But a bigger worry is the growing competition from industrial organic operations.
Organic food, once sold as shriveled produce in stores watched over by hippies in Birkenstocks and beads, has become the fastest-growing sector of the food industry, generating about $10 billion a year.
The new standards will make it easy to sell organic products overseas. As a result, agribusiness has already hopped on the organic bandwagon; it has, in fact, taken over a number of large organic producers. For example, Mars Inc., the M&M's candy company, owns Seeds of Change. Grimmway Farms, a giant conventional grower of carrots, bought Cal-Organic, the nation's largest organic produce company. Pillsbury markets organic flour, and Tyson Foods has introduced organic chickens. Archer Daniels Midland and Procter & Gamble have dipped their toes into organics, too.
October 16, 2002 12:55 PM
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