Cornucopia News Archive

Organic Industry Watchdog Asks DOJ to Block Merger

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

France’s Groupe Danone’s purchase of WhiteWave would combine Stonyfield, Horizon and Wallaby to Dominate the Organic Dairy Market

The French dairy giant, Groupe Danone (Dannon in the U.S.) has announced the proposed acquisition of WhiteWave Foods for approximately $10 billion. The deal would combine the world’s largest organic yogurt brand, Stonyfield, with Wallaby, a rapidly growing yogurt label, and the nation’s largest brand of organic milk, Horizon. The Cornucopia Institute, an organic industry watchdog, said they were formally challenging the acquisition based on the serious erosion of competition it would create in the consumer marketplace and the negative economic impact it would have on U.S. organic dairy farmers.

WhiteWaveWhiteWave brands are the top sellers in their categories. Horizon organic milk controls nearly 25% of the organic milk market, while their Silk brand is a leader in plant-based beverages. Danone will be taking control of a bigger piece of the organic dairy market than has ever been controlled by a single company before.

“With this acquisition we are concerned that Danone will easily be able to beat out any competition by lowering prices beyond what farmstead dairies, and more moderately sized milk processors and marketers, can withstand,” said Marie Burcham, a livestock policy analyst with the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute.
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Undisturbed Ecosystems Benefit Everyone

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Why Not to Convert Native Land to Organic Management

[This article was previously published in the summer issue of The Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter.]

by Marie Burcham, JD
Farm and Food Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute

Source: Adobe Stock

As consumers become more educated about the strain conventional agriculture places on human and environmental health, the organic market is also facing an increase in demand. Industrial-scale agriculture is one of the primary causes of ecosystem and biodiversity losses. Driven by higher demand, there is increasing pressure to convert even more land for use in food production.

This land use, combined with increasing environmental pressures from climate change, pollution, and population growth, has a cumulative effect on the environment. Wild spaces are being lost at an unprecedented pace due to these pressures. Read Full Article »

Gathering of the Agrarian Elders

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Reflections from the Country’s Best Local Farmers

[This article was previously published in the summer issue of The Cultivator, Cornucopia’s quarterly newsletter.]

by Linley Dixon, PhD
Farm and Food Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute

Source: 2-Dog-Farm

The Elders gathered for a second time this past January. They were joined by 13 “Youngers” to exchange ideas and information with the next generation of farmers and discuss the future of organic and sustainable farming.The “Agrarian Elders,” a group of legendary organic farmers, first formally met in January of 2014 at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA with the goal of sharing and preserving the wisdom from their combined 800 years of growing experience.

Many of us are seriously concerned about the future of agriculture. However, the Agrarian Elders have already provided us with a roadmap toward a locally based, truly sustainable food system. In defiance of the status quo, they have courageously modeled their lives around hard work, a sense of place, innovation, and forward-looking ideas. Read Full Article »

Agribusiness Interests and the USDA Scramble Organic Eggs

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Lobbyists Conspired to Confine Chickens to Factory Farms
Consumers Fight Back through Marketplace Activism

CI_EggReportIndustryFraud_1Reacting to the close of a 90-day public comment period on July 13, the nation’s preeminent organic industry watchdog harshly criticized the USDA for what they called a “giveaway” to factory farm interests masquerading as organic. The Cornucopia Institute suggested that consumers reaffirm their support for organic family-scale farmers by “taking the law into their own hands” and seeking out truly authentic organic eggs, produced humanely.

The rule elicited comments from over 5,000 citizens, lobbyists and organic stakeholders. The animal welfare rule has been one of the most prominent controversies in the history of the organic movement, sparked by USDA inaction that allows as many as two million “organic” birds to be confined on giant concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Advocates assert that federal law clearly requires “access to the outdoors.”

Cornucopia policy experts and scientists claim that the options presented in the USDA’s draft rule could confine birds to as little as one square foot indoors and only require farms to provide two square feet of “pasture” outdoors, half of which could be covered with concrete. Read Full Article »

Call Your Representative to Vote NO on Toothless GMO Food Labeling Compromise

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Phone MartinCathraeThe House of Representatives will likely vote on this bill tomorrow, so please take action now to express your opposition!

You can reach your Congressional Representative at 877-796-1949
. Tell him or her to VOTE NO on Bill S.764.  Let them know that you want mandatory, on-the-package GMO food labeling — not QR codes.  And let your representative know that you support the state laws voted on by the people.

More specifics on what is in this “compromise” by the Senate, and now coming before the House, can be found here.