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Why Sun+Earth and Brother David’s are So Vital for Organic Stakeholders and Our Planet

David Bronner, the Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s, saw this coming years ago.

With California having legalized cannabis in 2016, he knew that this plant was headed down the path of other agricultural crops — mass industrialization, genetic engineering, enormous energy consumption through fossil fuels, and the displacement of small-scale family farmers.

Where cannabis differs from other agricultural commodities, however, is that there can be no such thing as “organic cannabis” until the federal government stops classifying it as an illegal drug.

It is also hardly just another crop.

The market size for cannabis is expected to reach $146 billion by 2025, which would make it significantly larger than the entire organic food industry.

With organic certification unavailable right now for cannabis and the planet’s urgent need for a regenerative solution, a new third-party certification was just formed called Sun+Earth.

Founded by the International Cannabis Farmers Association, Cannabis Conservancy and Certified Kind, along with deep support from Dr. Bronner’s, Sun+Earth is a program inspired by and aligned with the Regenerative Organic Certification standard but tailored to the way cannabis is grown and produced.

It is based on three pillars:

1 – Earth Care & Cultivation (regenerative farming methods, grown in the soil and under the sun, no chemicals, no hydroponics, no energy-intensive indoor grow facilities)

2 – Human Empowerment (fair treatment of farm workers)

3 – Community Engagement (requires farms to engage with their local community)

Sun+Earth utilizes third-party certifiers (Certified Kind and The Cannabis Conservancy) and has assembled an incredibly diverse and respected set of allies from the non-profit, corporate and farming worlds, including Center for Food Safety, Organic Consumers Association, Regeneration International, Kiss the Ground, Pesticide Action Network and White Oak Pastures.

14 farmers participated in the certification’s pilot program in 2018, and the latest version of Sun+Earth’s standards was finalized in January.


While having the certification is certainly an essential component, Sun+Earth will not have maximum impact unless its certified products reach the masses.

And that’s where Brother David’s comes in.

Founded by David Bronner and funded by Brother Cody Swift of the RiverStyx Foundation (Dr. Bronner’s is not a part of this project), Brother David’s is a brand platform that will market and promote products that use cannabis grown on Sun+Earth certified farms.

Brother David’s began selling its own branded cannabis products — 1/8th of an ounce jars, 1 gram jars and pre-rolls — in dispensaries in California this month. To handle the operational side of the business, the company has a licensing agreement with Flow Kana, who will be handling all of the processing, packaging and distribution.


Despite the fact that billions of investment dollars are rushing into the cannabis space, it is the structure of Brother David’s that should allow it to become the country’s leading premium cannabis brand among conscious consumers.


Instead of Brother David’s being a for-profit company that donates a certain percentage of sales to a cannabis-related non-profit, Brother David’s is the non-profit.

As a result, 100% of its profits will be used to support the regenerative cannabis ecosystem, such as paying for Sun+Earth certification for farms, providing technical assistance to farmers and working to end federal prohibition of cannabis.

Interestingly, the non-profit won’t just support farms that supply cannabis to the Brother David’s brand. It will also help cannabis farms that simply want to get Sun+Earth certification.

When consumers purchase a Brother David’s product, they will know several things:

– They will know who is growing their cannabis — small-scale farmers certified by Sun+Earth
– They will know how their cannabis is grown — regeneratively, under the sun and in the soil, no hydroponics, no chemicals, no energy-intensive indoor grow facilities
– They will know that the small-scale farmers growing the cannabis will be receiving a 10% premium on top of market prices
– They will know that 100% of the profits from Brother David’s will be used to support the regenerative cannabis ecosystem — profits will not be used to bolster stock prices or to pay dividends to investors
– They will know that the environment is being supported, rather than harmed, with each purchase
– They will know that they are purchasing a super-high quality product

There is no other cannabis product on the market that can make similar claims, which is why consumers and farmers will promote and advocate for this brand in an unprecedented way.

“There has been an overwhelming response to this. We will see a lot of cannabis farmers who want to engage with Sun+Earth and collaborate with Brother David’s,” said Tina Gordon, Founder of Moon Made Farms, a Sun+Earth certified farm.

“At Sun+Earth, we paid for the certification costs all of the 14 farms this year and are budgeting for another 30 next year,”, said Les Szabo, Director of Constructive Capital at Dr. Bronner’s.

This is a good thing because requests are already coming in.

“People are really excited about Sun+Earth in California, and we’re getting interest from regenerative farmers in other states, too. Both Oregon and Colorado have outdoor growers that will likely become Sun+Earth Certified later this year,” acknowledged Andrew Black, Founder and Director of Certified Kind, one of Sun+Earth’s certifiers.


For David Bronner, not only are the goals of this endeavor very ambitious but its purpose carries tremendous meaning.

“Brother David’s envisions a world where all our farming ecosystems are regenerative and organic, producing our food, clothes, personal care and medicines in ways that support thriving rural economies and biodiverse wild habitats.”

“Cannabis is our sacred ally, helping us heal, connect and appreciate each other, and elevating our consciousness into the magical living moment. Cannabis should be grown and consumed consciously, respecting its connection to the land and the people who grow it. This consciousness not only enhances the quality of the cannabis, but the quality of our experience with it. By supporting Brother David’s, you are connecting in a deep and meaningful way to the farmer and the land itself, and supporting a way of farming that can help heal the land and restore our elemental connection to ourselves, each other, and our sacred Earth.”

(David Bronner, the Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s and Founder of Brother David’s.)

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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Company Stories

The Shameful Truth About the Naked Juice Class Action Lawsuit Settlement and What American Consumers Can Do About It

Last week, Naked Juice agreed to settle a very important class action lawsuit which accused the company of deceptive labeling.

The primary basis of the lawsuit stemmed from the company’s use of the words “All Natural” on products that contained Archer Daniels Midland’s Fibersol-2 (“a soluble corn fiber that acts as a low-calorie bulking agent”), fructooligosaccharides (an alternative sweetener), other artificial ingredients, such as calcium pantothenate (synthetically produced from formaldehyde), and genetically-modified soy.

Since these ingredients are either genetically-engineered or synthetically produced and do not exist in nature, it is completely misleading to consumers for these juices to claim to be “All Natural.”

As part of the settlement, Naked Juice, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, has agreed to remove the label “All Natural” from all of its juices and to pay a $9 million settlement to the class action group.

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A message from E3Live

"My Everyday, Must-Have Green Organic Aquabotanical"

The best testimonial that I can give is that I drink this every single day, as it impacts my mood in an incredibly positive way.

E3Live + BrainON is certified organic, fresh-frozen AFA (Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) with a concentrated, aqueous, organic extract of Phenylethylamine and Phycocyanin.

Learn more.

Organic Insider

Company Stories

Upset Over Policy Differences and that Major GMO/Chemical Companies are Members of the Organic Trade Association, Nature’s Path Quits the Organization as a Protest to Save Organic

* Iconic cereal brand Nature’s Path has quit the Organic Trade Association (OTA) as a protest to save organic.

* The company says the OTA “is not working in step with organic advocates to protect and strengthen the original principles of the organic movement” and is not acting with sincerity when it comes to hydroponics, the most divisive issue in organic.

* BASF and Cargill have been granted membership in the OTA, even though their GMO and chemical products “are actively harming” organic farmers.

* The OTA defends its governance, transparency and organic agenda.

For some people, having BASF — one of the world’s most powerful chemical and GMO companies — as a member of the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is not a problem.

For Arran Stephens, CEO and Co-Founder of the fiercely independent, family-owned Nature’s Path, this was something that he could no longer tolerate.

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Living Maxwell

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The YouTube Movie That Will Make You Shake Your Head: “Stop Monsanto From Poisoning Hawaii: Genetic Engineering Chemical Warfare”

If you’re like me, you think of Hawaii as this pristine and gorgeous state where you’d love to own a retirement home.

After seeing the YouTube documentary called “Stop Monsanto From Poisoning Hawaii: Genetic Engineering Chemical Warfare”, I think you’ll change your mind pretty quickly.

As it turns out, Hawaii has been the global center for open-field testing for genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). Over 5,000 tests have been conducted by companies such as Monsanto, Dow, Dupont, Syngenta and BASF, and toxic chemicals get sprayed on an almost daily basis.

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