An illustration of a shelf with pantry items

VIROQUA, Wis., Nov. 21, 2023/PRNewswire/ —

The packaging on organic food typically conjures feelings of local charm and homegrown goodness. But in an increasingly consolidated marketplace, major corporations are often calling the shots on popular organic brands.

Consolidation creates not only outsized profits, but outsized influence on food policy: According to Cornucopia’s research, among the 10 North American food corporations that invest the most money in lobbying, seven have purchased formerly independent organic brands.

Ownership is often intentionally obscured. So The Cornucopia Institute investigated, launching its Independent Organic Brand List as a tool for eaters seeking transparency in the food system. Watch Executive Director Melody Morrell introduce the list in this video.

The list serves as a companion piece to Cornucopia’s popular Who Owns Organic? project. Used together, these resources help eaters actively resist a corporatized marketplace and support food that serves people, not corporate profits. Many of the independent brands highlighted by Cornucopia were created as an antidote to industry and a response to a personal health need that couldn’t be met by it.

Consider the list a roadmap to hidden gems in the food system. To make it on the Independent Organic Brand List, a brand must be independently owned, nationally available, and devoid of conventional product lines. The list features more 100 brands, ranging from snacks to sweets, beverages to baby food, dairy to dairy-free options, and much more. A print version of this work is being shared with co-ops and independent retailers throughout the country.

As corporations continue to gobble up organic brands, Cornucopia will be watching, updating the list with input from organic advocates throughout the US.

As a nonprofit watchdog, Cornucopia comprehensively tracks the organic marketplace, along with the policy that shapes it. Its tools help shoppers sort through confusing labels and marketing claims to make confident purchases and invest in a vital alternative to the conventional food system.

About The Cornucopia Institute: The Cornucopia Institute uncovers the truth behind organic food and advocates for an organic label you can trust.  To receive future press releases from The Cornucopia Institute, contact us here.

Contact: Rebecca Shimp Martin at [email protected].

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