With its eyes set on strategies to amp up its organic product, General Mills announced this week a sourcing partnership with Organic Valley. Through this alignment, General Mills projects that it will help around 20 dairy farms up their organic dairy production within the next three years.
"To ensure we are able to deliver great tasting organic yogurt offerings to our consumers we are committed to supporting a framework in partnership with Organic Valley that will not only ensure a consistent supply chain, but also make it easier for dairy farmers to successfully manage through the transition to organic," said David Clark, President of the General Mills Yogurt Operating Unit.
General Mills stated in a press release that this partnership will help its dairy farmers add around 3,000 acres to their production of organic dairy, driving more acres into the U.S. organic certification process. General Mills said that this partnership pushes the company even further into its commitment to double its organic acreage by 2019 from which it sources its ingredients.
The new alignment between the two companies will directly support General Mills’ yogurt operations within the U.S., which includes the recently introduced Annie’s brand to the company. Annie’s is not only introducing a new line of certified organic whole milk yogurts, but will transition its Liberté yogurt brand to USDA certified organic this summer.
"We recognize that one of the biggest challenges to accelerating organic supply is enabling farmers to bridge the three-year period required to attain certified organic status under USDA rules. There is tremendous opportunity for Annie's — with the scale of General Mills — to increase the organic ingredient supply needed to support the rising consumer interest in organic foods," added John Foraker, President of Annie's.
General Mills disclosed that while consumer demand for organics is increasing, there has been a gap in supply. The company has increased its organic acreage by 120 percent since 2009, and projects to drive double-digit sales growth over the next five years. General Mills plans for 100 percent of its directly sourced fluid milk to come from regions which match its sustainable commitment by 2020.
Also planned for the company, is the launch of General Mills’ Organic & Regenerative Agriculture Transition Council which will focus on the advancement of organic and regenerative agricultural practices.
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