RICHMOND, BC--(Marketwired - May 22, 2014) -
Nature's Path, North America's largest independent organic cereal company, lives by the mantra "always leave the earth better than you found it." This week, the Canadian company took another step along that path with the purchase of 2,760 acres in northern Montana that will help increase organic farmland, attract and educate new farmers, plus meet the growing demand for organic grains and legumes. As part of the company's mission, Nature's Path purchased two farms in Saskatchewan in 2008; the addition of the Montana farm increases their stewardship to 5,640 acres.
The need for organic farmland has increased as the demand continues to grow at an expected rate of 14 percent through 2018(1). At the same time, the number of farmers is declining, down 4 percent since 2007(2), as older farmers retire without enough new farmers to take their place.
"As an independent, family-run company, we have the freedom to put our money where our heart is, in support of sustainable agriculture-beyond just making organic products," said Arran Stephens, Founder and CEO of Nature's Path. "By purchasing fertile land and working with organic family farmers, we ensure the purity of our foods, increase organic acreage to sustain growth, prevent poisoning the environment, and provide for future generations."
This land has had no agri-chemicals or fertilizers on it for over 20 years and is currently being tilled and planted with wheat, oats, Kamut®, lentils, peas, buckwheat and safflower. Grains are rotated with legumes, which fix nitrogen in the soil, while the safflower oil is used as an innovative bio-fuel for farm equipment.
A vital element to ensure organic farmland and food for generations to come is attracting and training a new generation of farmers. Nature's Path is proud to work together with Doug Crabtree and Anna Jones-Crabtree of Vilicus Farms to farm the land as well as support their one-of-a-kind organic farmer training institute in Montana through which younger grain farmers apprentice to learn all aspects of the trade.
"Working with Doug and Anna, we hope to attract younger farmers and prepare them for successful careers," said Dag Falck, Organic Program Manager at Nature's Path. "We have the utmost respect for organic farmers and are truly dedicated to assisting them in any way we can."
ABOUT NATURES PATH
Founded in 1985, Nature's Path Organic Foods is headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia and employs hundreds of valued team members at its four facilities in Canada and the United States. The privately held, family-owned company produces breakfast and snack foods sold in grocery and natural food stores in 40 countries around the world. The company's innovative brands include Nature's Path®, Love Crunch®, Qi'a®, Que Pasa®,
Flax Plus®, and EnviroKidz®. For the latest News and updates visit Nature's Path online at www.naturespath.com, www.facebook.com/naturespath, or follow us on twitter: @naturespath.
(1) United States Organic Food Market Forecast & Opportunities Report
(2) American census of agriculture, February 2014