Posts Tagged organic

Cornucopia’s Kastel Calls Scale of Organic Fraud “Jaw-Dropping”

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Cornucopia’s Take: Three Nebraska farmers sold their conventional as organic grain to a Missouri man who subsequently marketed it as organic—to the tune of $140 million. The farmers are awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in October. Randy Constant, the grain marketer and alleged leader of the scheme, was charged with wire fraud and is due in federal court today (Thursday, December 20). Although this large-scale fraud dates as far back as 2004, the USDA, sadly, never discovered it. Instead, reportedly, the perpetrators tripped up by marketing “certified organic grain” that tested positive for GMOs and were caught by a buyer doing testing. Impostor “organic” farms jeopardize authentic organic farmers and the overall integrity of the label itself.

Missouri farmer charged in $140M organic grain fraud scheme
Daily Herald
by Ryan J. Foley, AP

Source: AgriLife Today

A Missouri farmer and businessman ripped off consumers nationwide by falsely marketing more than $140 million worth of corn, soybeans and wheat as certified organic grains, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

The long-running fraud scheme outlined in court documents by prosecutors in Iowa is one of the largest uncovered in the fast-growing organic farming industry. The victims included food companies and their customers who paid higher prices because they thought they were buying grains that had been grown using environmentally sustainable practices.

The alleged leader of the scheme was identified as Randy Constant of Chillicothe, Missouri, who was charged with one count of wire fraud. He is expected to plead guilty during a hearing that is scheduled at the federal courthouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Thursday.

The charging document calls on Constant to forfeit $128 million to the government along with his interest in 70 pieces of farm machinery and equipment. His attorney, Mark Weinhardt, didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment. Read Full Article »

Save the Date: #GivingTuesday November 27

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

Giving Tuesday, the annual international day of charitable giving held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is less than a week away! Once again, Cornucopia will be joining thousands of organizations to amplify our collective efforts and celebrate our accomplishments while strengthening our resolve to continue the good fight with your support.

While many are focused on finding deals this Black Friday or Cyber Monday, we encourage you to let your values guide your spending by shopping local on Small Business Saturday and considering a gift to Cornucopia on #GivingTuesday. With two-thirds of our revenue coming directly from individuals like YOU who are passionate about good food, every gift you give keeps us independent and strong in the fight to protect our food system and support of authentic organic farms. And it gets better—a generous Cornucopia member has offered to DOUBLE all donations made to Cornucopia this giving season.

We hope you’ll take this opportunity to double your impact with a gift to Cornucopia on #GivingTuesday. Encourage your friends and family to stand with us also on this day, to celebrate the spirit of generosity and the resolve of grassroots activism.

The Future Policy Award goes to Sikkim, India

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

Cornucopia’s Take: The U.S. has been very slow to implement policies that would encourage organic agriculture, focusing instead on organic as a marketing tool. Countries around the world are beginning to recognize the benefits organic farms bring to all species. Watch the video below for a message of hope for the future of agriculture and the planet. Your purchase of organic food is a vote that you make with your fork for future generations.

“Governments are Starting to See that Organic Food Policy Works”
Inter Press Service
by Maged Srour

Many countries and farmers around the world are not readily making the switch to organic farming. But the small Himalayan mountain state of Sikkim, which borders Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan, is the first 100 percent organic farming state in the world.

Earlier this month, Sikkim, won the Future Policy Award 2018 (FPA) for being the first state in the world to declare itself, in 2015, 100 percent organic.

Its path towards becoming completely organic started in 2003, when Chief Minister Pawan Chamling announced the political vision to make Sikkim “the first organic state of India”.

The FPA, also known as the ‘Oscar for Best Policies’ is organised every year by the World Future Council (WFC). The aim of the FPA is to investigate solutions to the challenges in today’s world. The WFC looks at which policies have a holistic and long-term outlook, and which protect the rights of future generations. And once a year the WFC awards showcases the very best of them. Read Full Article »

Mark Kastel on Facebook Live: Thank YOUR Farmer This Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

Thank a Farmer

Thank an organic farmer today!

Posted by The Cornucopia Institute on Wednesday, November 21, 2018

To unmute, click on the sound icon in the lower right corner of the video.

Truly organic farmers cultivate human and environmental health as well as excellent food. Cornucopia urges everyone to buy organic and thank their farmers over the holidays and throughout the year. Many organic family farmers are in crisis, barely able to keep food on their own tables, and need your patronage.

Cornucopia Executive Director Mark Kastel shares his commitment to supporting these stewards of the soil and credits organic farmers with helping him recover his personal health.

If you identify a farmer you’d like to honor when you donate to Cornucopia this giving season, we will send a card and special thanks on your behalf.

Join Cornucopia Live Wednesday at 11:45 AM CT to Find Out How to Thank YOUR Farmer This Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Do you know where your food comes from? Are you dedicated to buying local and organic from authentic family farms? Are you thankful for the farmers that get up early and stay up late in the heat of the summer and cold of the winter to produce nutritious food grown with love and respect for Earth’s natural systems?

We know you are – so let us help you thank them!

Each year at this time, Cornucopia pledges that for every donation made on behalf of a farmer, we will send them a hand-written acknowledgement card to show our gratitude.

Tune in live on Facebook tomorrow, Wednesday, November 21 at 11:45 AM Central, to join Cornucopia Executive Director and Senior Farm Policy Analyst Mark Kastel as he shares his appreciation for the hard-working, dedicated family farmers who make it possible for all of us to eat well and find nourishment throughout the year and to hear how Cornucopia can help you recognize your own local, organic farmer this Thanksgiving season.

Read Full Article »