Just ask Annie’s, a subsidiary of General Mills and trusted purveyor of organic Mac & Cheese and other packaged foods. The key is to go beyond organic by supporting the movement for “regenerative agriculture” and educating consumers along the way.
Annie’s and General Mills are proving that this could be a real win-win for the planet, and the company.
“Consumers trust the “organic” label—an official USDA designation for two decades, promising no synthetic pesticides or growth hormones—and continue to buy organic food in slowly increasing numbers. But while organic foods might be better for people’s health, they’re not designed to be better for the planet’s. To combat climate change, General Mills believes it will need to not only support the expansion of organic farmland but also lead the industry toward the idea of regenerative agriculture, a term that goes beyond pesticide elimination to encompass practices with the power to enrich soils, restore watersheds, and more. “Regenerative” has no official criteria, and (relatedly) low consumer awareness. For General Mills, that could be an opportunity. Through a self-assessment tool for farmers, the company is collecting data on three aspects of regenerative agriculture: farmer resilience, soil health, and biodiversity. Being able to show Annie’s customers how their purchases are helping in these areas could be a distinct competitive advantage.”
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