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Living Maxwell

Company Stories

Whole Planet Foundation is Transforming Lives in Costa Rica

Last week in Costa Rica, I visited with some women entrepreneurs who are receiving microloans from the Whole Planet Foundation, a non-profit organization of Whole Foods.

I have written about the Whole Planet Foundation before and the amazing job that it is doing around the world but meeting the loan recipients in-person gave me a much greater appreciation for the impact that this program is having.

Women entrepreneurs from impoverished communities receive loans, starting at a few hundred dollars, to start businesses – baking, sewing, buying animals, running a small store, etc. With a 98% success rate (only 2% of the loans default), this incremental revenue plays an essential role in improving the well-being and welfare of thousands of families.

In conjunction with Grameen, the local partner in Costa Rica, the Whole Planet Foundation is giving hard-working, honest and responsible women access to capital that they never had before, and as a result, lives are being completely transformed.

Needless to say, I was very touched by what I saw and walked away an even bigger fan of the Whole Planet Foundation. Awesome work!

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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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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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.

Living Maxwell

Company Stories

Top 5 Organic Products of Expo East 2022 in Philadelphia

For the second year in a row, Natural Products Expo East returned to Philadelphia, and I enjoyed my time in the city much more than I ever anticipated.

Not only was it great to see all of my friends again in the industry, but I ate incredibly well at two phenomenal restaurants — P.S. & Co. and Vedge.

I also saw some fantastic and innovative products at the show, with a few of them in the condiment category.

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Organic Insider

Company Stories

President Obama Signs the Disastrous Federal GMO-Labeling Bill, Putting the Future of Organic in Danger

On late Friday afternoon, President Obama signed the sham Stabenow-Roberts GMO-Labeling bill (S. 764) which will allow, among many other things, companies to use QR codes instead of clear GMO labels on a food product’s packaging.

This bill is so discriminatory and so poorly written that it potentially violates several amendments of the Constitution. Additionally, it puts the integrity of the organic seal in real jeopardy.

What is arguably the most troubling aspect of this bill is that while almost every single organic consumer organization fought this bill, the organic industry’s leading trade organization praised the bill and lobbied for it to pass.

Here are the key points to understand, in terms of analyzing the bill, what this means for the organic industry, and where we go from here.

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