The Cornucopia Institute

The Cornucopia Institute, through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, provides needed information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement and to the media. We support economic justice for the family-scale farming community – partnered with consumers – backing ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.

Hain Celestial Under Investigation by SEC

October 25th, 2016

Cornucopia’s Take: One of the biggest owners of organic branded products is in hot water over its accounting practices. The company has used acquisitions of smaller companies to greatly expand its organic footprint over the years. How these accounting issues will play out on grocery store shelves is unclear.

SEC investigating organic food giant
Sustainable Food News

Hain Celestial investors in for rough ride, says Probes Reporter

haincelestiallogoThe U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating organic and natural food manufacturer, Hain Celestial Group, Inc., according to a report published by Probes Reporter LLC.

The Lake Success, N.Y.-based company (NASDAQ: HAIN), which owns the Earth’s Best organic baby food and BluePrint cold-pressed juice brands, delayed the release of its fourth quarter and FY2016 results on August 15, and launched an independent audit of accounting irregularities.

More than 41 million shares traded that day, with the stock price closing at $39.35, down 26.3 percent. Hain’s tumbling share price shaved about $2 billion from its market cap and is now at $3.8 billion. Read Full Article »

Are You An Organic Farming Champion? Position Open: Researcher/Investigator

October 24th, 2016

ci_hiringresearcherinvestigator_1The Cornucopia Institute is seeking a full-time employee to join our team.  If you have demonstrated investigative and research skills and are able to identify and follow leads while ferreting out the truth from conflicting narratives in the organic food and farming sector, then we want to hear from you!

We are seeking a new policy team member who possesses superior communication and writing skills.  A degree and background in the social sciences or journalism is preferred, along with a history of investigative/research activities for media, academia or civil society organizations.  Professional experience in farming, agribusiness or the food industry would be an asset.

A heartfelt passion for protecting the environment, the good food movement, human health, humane livestock husbandry, and social/economic justice for family farmers is essential.  Read Full Article »

Take Action: Sign the Petition — It’s Time to Remove Carrageenan (Intestinal Inflammatory Agent/Carcinogen) from Organics!

October 20th, 2016

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will be voting in just a few weeks on whether or not to continue to allow carrageenan in organic food at their semi-annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, November 16-18.

You can make a positive impact today by signing the petition to remove carrageenan from organic food!

The Cornucopia Institute will hand deliver your petition to the NOSB at the meeting to support the vote to remove carrageenan from certified organic foods. Organics should be the go-to refuge when seeking truly safe food for your family. After the NOSB meeting, we will also deliver the petition to the FDA to call for removing carrageenan from all food. Read Full Article »

Amid Controversy, Secrecy, and Lawsuits, 5,000 Organic Stakeholders Call for New Management at USDA National Organic Program

October 18th, 2016

Secret Documents Released: Reading Room Established for Material Obtained from USDA through Federal Lawsuits

ci_foiareadingroom_releaseThe Cornucopia Institute has delivered to the USDA more than 5,000 individually signed letters from farmers and consumers calling for new management of the National Organic Program (NOP).  The Wisconsin-based organic food and farm policy research group collected the letters from concerned organic advocates across the country.

“This is one more indication of the growing dissatisfaction with Deputy Administrator Miles McEvoy’s direction and oversight of the rapidly growing organic industry,” said Mark Kastel, who acts as Cornucopia’s Senior Farm Policy Analyst.

The Cornucopia Institute, along with many other public interest groups, has been highly critical of what they describe as a “corporate takeover” of the regulatory process that Congress designed specifically to protect organic rulemaking from the influence of agribusiness lobbyists. Read Full Article »

Cornucopia Asks Regulators to Block Merger

October 17th, 2016

Groupe Danone/WhiteWave Would Dominate the Organic Dairy Market

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

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

Certified Organic Factory Farms
(Above) Hilltop LLC, Boehning Dairy
in Earth, TX (May 17, 2014).
(Below) No evidence of cows on pasture at
Horizon Dairy in Kennedyville, MD
(Sept. 27, 2014)

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 Horizon, the nation’s largest brand of organic milk.

Cornucopia has formally challenged 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.

WhiteWave 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. Read Full Article »

The Cornucopia Institute
P.O. Box 126 Cornucopia, Wisconsin 54827
Ph: 608-625-2000