The Layout of the Organic Foods Industry

It’s early Friday morning.  I’m checking out my facebook and come across something about organic foods.  Hmmmm . . . there’s a lot of information here.  All graphically demonstrated.  This is like one of those “Where’s Waldo” things.  Well I don’t see Waldo, but I see a lot of somewhat disturbing data.

I spent some time following the arrows and learning what companies actually own some of my favorite natural food brands.  These are big organizational boards showing the layout of the natural/organic foods industry.  Very interesting data and plenty of it, but it is–at least for me–unevaluated data at this point.

Although I must say, my emotional response to the fact that an organic food manufacturer like Seeds of Change is owned by M&M Mars is that it makes my heart sink to the ground.  Some of the others don’t surprise me as much and I make a quick and loose observation, “No wonder some of these so-called natural products have sugar and other weird ingredients in them.”

I am soothed to know that Lundberg, Eden, Amy’s and Frontier are still independent.  I wonder, “But for how long?”

My friend who posted these commented that it may be more and more important to grow your own food.  She is probably right but I don’t think that is a total solution.  I think we have to be vigilant about label-reading and continue to refuse to purchase pretend natural food products and demand high-quality selections from our stores.

Is it important when organic food companies are bought out by huge conglomerate corporations that also manufacture the very foods we are trying to get away from?

Organic food product labels

Organic foods acquisitions

Top 30 Food Processors

Acquisitions by the Top 30

Top Brands that are still Independent

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4 thoughts on “The Layout of the Organic Foods Industry

  1. All this bothers me, yes, but what bothers me MORE is how little oversight there is over the organic certification process. As I understand it, if a company wants to slap a USDA Organic label on veggies they’re importing from China, there’s very little oversight regarding whether the goods actually meet organic standards. I found a lot of interesting (and depressing!) info about this on the Cornucopia Institute’s website.

  2. I didn’t realize this, either, Patty. Doesn’t surprise me, though. We grow many of our vegetables, but the number of urban dwellers in the world is increasing daily. It seems like so many small independent companies struggle to survive. Wish it wasn’t so.

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