Company to invest in farming, research and associations that best reflect its vision for how organic can protect and enhance the health of both people and planet.
Richmond, BC (June 29, 2018) – Today, Nature’s Path Foods, North America’s Largest organic breakfast company, announced its resignation from the Organic Trade Association (OTA) citing concern the OTA is shifting its commitment from supporting and representing the core principles of the organic food movement, to begin pushing a non-organic agenda which threatens the future of organic. Recent actions by the OTA that have driven the company’s decision include misrepresenting organic food companies and US consumers to support a vague and misleading national GMO labelling law, and allowing hydroponics to fall under the organic certification label where there is no organic agriculture nor soil present.
“Our departure from the OTA is an act of protest to raise awareness of our concern that the important role organic plays to support the health of consumers and our planet is being compromised,” says Nature’s Path founder and co-CEO Arran Stephens. “We believe giant food corporations, that also happen to own small organic brands, use the OTA to influence policy decisions to protect the best interest of their large, non-organic food portfolios.”
In 2016, the OTA actively worked to pass the first-ever national, GMO food labelling law in the US (Stabenow-Roberts Bill) that pre-exempted strong, state-led GMO labelling laws. The OTA support of the new mandatory bill was without the knowledge or expressed consent of many organic members like Nature’s Path. Currently open to public comments until July 3, 2018, the new law could exclude almost three-fourths of products with genetically engineered ingredients and use confusing new GMO terminology and symbols for on-pack disclosures.
“We believe organic can protect and enhance the health of people and planet. Organic can build a better world, free from food with chemical residues, free of toxic environments for farmers, and free of catering to big business at the expense of real people,” adds Stephens. “We’re alarmed the new bill works against our basic human right for food transparency which exists in 64 other countries around the globe with clear GMO labels.”
As one of the first certified organic companies in North America and a founder of Organic Merchants in 1971, a predecessor of the OTA, Nature’s Path will continue its investment to support the vitality and future of the organic food movement. The company will continue its membership with the Canadian Organic Trade Association, fund research by the Organic Center, Organic Farmers Association and the Rodale Institute plus continue to look at other groups to invest in supporting organic.
“We are committed to rebuilding what we believe is lost, by being a strong voice to ensure that organic continues to change food and agriculture for the better,” says Stephens. “From using our social channels to raise awareness and action, to investing in research, farmers and organic associations that closer reflect our vision for organic, we will publicly work to protect and enhance the health of both people and planet.”
As the proposed GMO bill closes for commentary on July 3, 2018, Nature’s Path is calling for consumers to sign a petition to fight for their right to know what’s in their food and help create a new food labelling law that helps keep them and their family safe. The company has launched a public campaign on its social channels to help bring consumers into action. Consumers can visit http://www.justlabelit.org/ to have their voice heard.
About Nature’s Path Foods
Nature’s Path Organic Foods, is a privately held, family-owned company, producing USDA, Canadian and UK Soils Association Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified breakfast and snack foods sold in grocery and natural food stores in over 50 countries around the world. Committed to the triple bottom line— socially responsible, environmentally sustainable and financially viable, Nature’s Path works diligently to support communities and champion the cause of people and planet. Brands include Nature’s Path®, Love Crunch®, Qi’a®, Que Pasa®, Flax Plus®, and EnviroKidz®. Founded in 1985, Nature’s Path is headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia and employs hundreds of valued team members at its four facilities in Canada and the United States. Visit https://www.naturespath.com/or follow on Twitter @NaturesPath and Instagram @NaturesPathOrganic.