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Organic Insider

Company Stories

Farmer Direct Organic is Raising the Bar When it Comes to Fair Wages for Growers and Traceability for Consumers

With more than 80% of U.S. consumers purchasing organic food on a regular basis, the industry continues to surge in popularity, and there are more organic brands – and choices – than ever.

Yet, when one takes a deeper look at what is happening behind the scenes, the picture is rather unsettling. Most notably, the farmers are suffering beyond imagination.

According to the USDA, projected 2019 median farm income was expected to be -$1,636, and a majority of farmers are forced to earn off-farm income to feed their families and keep their farms afloat.

Canada-based Farmer Direct Organic, a certified organic producer of grains, seeds and legumes, is acutely aware of this problem and is making it a cornerstone of the company’s operating philosophy.

“Having seen first-hand the challenges farmers face, Farmer Direct Organic is dedicated to supporting family scale, organic, regenerative farming through transparency and by paying farmers based on the true cost of production. We believe this investment in sustainable agriculture is not only a moral imperative but is scientifically proven to be the best hope society has to mitigate climate change,” said Jason Freeman, Founder and General Manager of Farmer Direct Organic.

Along with the transparency that it provides to its family farmers, the company offers an unprecedented level of visibility to its customers.

On the back of every Farmer Direct Organic package features a string of fourteen numbers and three dashes. These numbers track each product from the farm to the shelf, when each lot was harvested, how it was processed and packaged, and even which field it was grown on.

With the exception of its oats, which are sourced from a group of organic farmers, the company is deeply committed to single-origin lots.

This means hemp seeds, for example, are not collected from 10 different farms and combined into one container to full its bags of product. No comingling ever takes place, which allows for each package to be traceable back to a single farm. This also helps to eliminate fraud, a major issue in the organic industry when it comes to grains.

Additionally, Farmer Direct Organic is an early participant in a third-party certification program called Tested Clean.

Tested Clean utilizes a method of precisely measuring pesticide levels in food and makes sure that glyphosate and other chemicals are not present in the company’s products. Although glyphosate is prohibited in organic, it has found its way into the organic food supply chain, something that poses a tremendous problem for consumers.

As a result, a growing number of organic brands, such as Farmer Direct Organic, are taking it upon themselves to rigorously test their certified organic products for pesticides, a job that the USDA does not do itself. Despite the added cost of time and money, this only ensures a higher quality, safer product for shoppers.

The fact that the company has gone to these lengths to ensure that its products are of maximum safety and quality has not gone unnoticed by industry buyers.

“We are in a constant search for best, most cutting-edge organic products and companies that are doing the right thing by consumers. That is why we started selling Farmer Direct Organic, and the feedback from our customers has been fantastic. So much so that we will be expanding with the company in a bigger and more exciting way this coming crop season,” said Dwight Richmond, Director of Center Store, Merchandising at The Fresh Market, an organic and natural supermarket chain with locations in 22 states.

Farmer Direct Organic is truly raising the bar when it comes to delivering fair and transparent organic products to the marketplace.

Needless to say, this is industry leadership at its finest.

A message from Tradin Organic

How Tradin Organic is Helping Coconut Farmers in The Philippines

For more than a decade, Tradin Organic has been working with local partners in The Philippines to bring a diversified range of organic products to the market, such as coconut oil, tropical fruits and even cocoa.

The company is helping to support local farmers by assisting them with technical support and organic certification, in addition to paying Fairtrade premium on top of the organic premium.

Learn more.

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Living Maxwell

Company Stories

EARTH University in Costa Rica – An Amazing Example of What Education Should Be

The reason for my trip to Costa Rica was to come learn about a place called EARTH University.

EARTH University in Costa Rica is a 4-year accredited school where students come from all over the world to learn about sustainability and entrepreneurship. The goal is to have these students take these skills and knowledge back to their home countries after graduation in order to positively impact their communities.

What is important to know about EARTH University is that almost all of the students come from Latin America and Africa, 71% of the students come from rural impoverished areas, and 60% of the students receive full scholarships.

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A message from Tradin Organic

Why Tradin Organic is Prioritizing Regenerative Organic Farming

At Tradin Organic, we believe that regenerative organic farming is key to growing healthy and nutritious food ingredients — for now and for future generations.

And in Sierra Leone, we have grown the world’s first Regenerative Organic Certified cacao.

Learn more.

Organic Insider

Company Stories

The Aftermath of the DARK Act Continues: Dr. Bronner’s and OSGATA Quit the OTA. However, the Organic Farmers Association is Formed

A few months after the DARK Act passed, which many in the industry called a massive betrayal of organic by the Organic Trade Association, the fallout continues.

As I shared the news on Facebook recently, Dr. Bronner’s, one of the leading and most vocal GMO-labeling advocates in the country, has quit the Organic Trade Association in protest.

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Living Maxwell

Company Stories

Talking Organic with Sarah Michelle Gellar — Hollywood Actress, Best-Selling Author and Co-Founder of Foodstirs

With celebrities rushing to invest in organic food companies these days, Sarah Michelle Gellar truly stands alone.

This long-time Hollywood actress isn’t writing a check, fading into the background and hoping for a payout several years down the line. She is doing the exact opposite.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is helping to run and is playing an active role in building one of the hottest organic food brands in the industry. Along with her two other co-founders, CEO Galit Laibow and COO Greg Fleishman, Foodstirs is redefining the healthy baking category by using the best organic and Biodynamic ingredients available.

In addition to her acting career and responsibilities at Foodstirs, this Emmy Award-winning actress and mother of two recently released Stirring up Fun with Food: Over 115 Simple, Delicious Ways to be Creative in the Kitchen, her #1 best-selling book. Organized by the month, Stirring up Fun with Food succeeds because of its approach — providing engaging “food-crafting” ideas that help kids develop self-confidence, creative thinking, and even math skills in the kitchen.

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