Just as everything we do begins at the farm we support innovative organizations that grow and nurture our industry. We are committed to making a difference through our mission and priorities to develop healthy sustainable foods and food practices as well as contributing to the health of our planet. These featured organizations directly support those goals and we are honored to support and celebrate their work.
The Organic Center
The Organic Center's mission is to convene credible, evidence-based science on the health and environmental benefits of organic food and farming, and to communicate the findings to the public. As an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) research and education organization, operating under the administrative auspices of the Organic Trade Association, The Center envisions improved health for the earth and its inhabitants through the conversion of agriculture to organic methods.
Due to a generous grant from UNFI Foundation, The Organic Center, is working with U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Agricultural Research Service scientists to conduct targeted research on the factors affecting the presence of arsenic in organically grown rice.
What they do: Bring you science that supports the benefits of organic food and farming to human, animal and environmental health.
Location: Washington, D.C.
Vitamin Angels helps at-risk populations in need-specifically children under five, pregnant women and new mothers-gain access to lifesaving and life changing micronutrients. In 2012, Vitamin Angels reached almost 27,000,000 children in 49 countries, including the US, with the vital nutrients they need as a foundation for good health.
What they do: Mobilize and deploy private sector resources to advance availability, access and use of micronutrients, especially vitamin A, among at-risk populations in need.
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Washington State University, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources
Measure to Manage (M2M): Food and Farm Diagnostics for Sustainability and Health
More and more consumers are searching for healthier food, but how can an individual pick the healthiest carrot, or choose among all the so-called “healthy” choices in the bakery, dairy, or cereal aisles of the supermarket? A new program at Washington State University led by Dr. Charles Benbrook is working now to develop consumer friendly tools to quantify the nutritional quality and safety of individual foods, meals, and even daily diets. Dr. Benbrook’s new program will develop tools and recommend science-based metrics for measuring food quality and agricultural sustainability. The UNFI Foundation has provided a portion of the start-up capital needed to launch the M2M program.
What they do: Draw on science in helping farmers and companies produce healthier food, while helping consumers find their own path toward a healthier diet.
Farmer Veteran Coalition
The mission of the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) is to mobilize veterans to feed America. FVC was started by long time organic farmer Michael O’Gorman in 2009 to help find viable employment and places to heal for young soldiers returning from war. FVC met Army veteran Ben Riker (seen here with wife Lindsey and son Lucas) at last years’ MOSES conference. Ben finished his military duty in 2010 after deployment to Iraq and Kuwait. He is now back at his family’s organic cranberry farm, James Lake Farms in Wisconsin. The UNFI Foundation is helping FVC bring veterans like Ben to MOSES and Eco-Farm.
Photo: Sarah Stauner
What they do: Create viable futures for America’s veterans by enlisting their help in building a healthy food supply for all.
Just Label It
Just Label It (JLI), a project of the Organic Voices Action Fund, is a national coalition of more than 600 diverse groups and 300,000 individuals, dedicated to the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. The message is simple: consumers have a right to know about our food so we can make informed choices about what we buy, eat and serve our families. Launched in 2011, JLI’s coalition represents the healthcare community, consumer advocates, farmers, concerned parents, environmentalists, agricultural organizations, businesses, the faith-based community and many more. JLI has led the effort to garner 1.1 million signatures demanding that the US government label GE foods.
What they do: Represent the rights of the consumer and promote transparency in food labeling.
Location: Washington, D.C.
Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES)
The MOSES Organic Farming Conference is the largest of its kind in the US. In February 2012, over 3,100 farmers, educators and agricultural professionals participated in 70 workshops on topics related to organic and sustainable farming. The conference grows in attendance every year, and this year also included 160 exhibitors.
In addition, MOSES builds relationships through its Grow Organic program. They provide farmers a wide range of information through their toll-free Organic Info Line, Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring, Farm Field Days, the Rural Women's Project, the Young Organic Stewards Program, an in-depth bi-monthly newsletter, over 30 Fact Sheets and a website.
What they do: Provide resources and training to help farmers grow organic successfully.
Location: Spring Valley, WI
Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF)
OFRF builds the vital infrastructure that supports the success of organic farmers. Their areas of focus are: policy, through Congress and federal agencies; education, working to integrate organic farming programs into all agricultural universities; grantmaking, that expands the adoption of organic farming and practices while addressing urgent issues faced by many organic farmers in America; and building community, to cultivate a connection among organic supporters.
OFRF's vision: Organic farming will be the leading form of agriculture in America. Organic farming is the backbone to resilient, prosperous people who thrive on a healthy planet.
What they do: Work to increase the number of organic farmers, certified organic acres and organics in the country's food economy.
Organic Seed Alliance
Organic Seed Alliance believes that seed is our cultural heritage and a natural resource fundamental to the future sustainability of food production. Therefore, through advocacy, education, services and research they work to restore and develop seed varieties for current needs while safeguarding invaluable genetic resources for future generations.
In addition to executing many education and advocacy programs, their research develops healthy seed systems, improves organic seed production practices and develops new germplasm for organic agriculture.
Organic Seed Alliance also advises organic farmers, seed producers and other seedspeople to support organic seeds.
What they do: Advance the ethical development and stewardship of the genetic resources of agricultural seed.
Location: Port Townsend, WA
Wild Farm Alliance
Wild Farm Alliance promotes a healthy, viable agriculture that helps protect and restore wild nature. They envision a world in which community-based, ecologically managed farms and ranches are seamlessly integrated into landscapes that accommodate the full range of native species and ecological processes. Working with a diverse network of farmers, ranchers, organizations and government agencies, they facilitate the linking of food systems with ecosystems through education, collaboration, political advocacy and on-farm conservation projects.
Are you interested in supporting on-farm biodiversity and natural resource conservation? Sign up for the Wild Farm Alliance e-newsletter for the latest news, workshops and policy alerts.
What they do: Promote ecological farming through sustainable agriculture and biodiversity conservation.
Location: Watsonville, CA