Who owns your favorite organic brand? White Wave Dean Foods Buys Earthbound Farm

Another independent organic food company bites the dust

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.27.05 PM

Organic food has become big business. As the masses start to realize the health and environmental benefits of eating organically grown food, big business has gotten involved.  Many organic brands are now owned by large corporations who give millions to defeat measures such as GMO labeling counter to the morals and values of organic produce.

 Sadly, another independent organic food company bites the dust and is acquired by one of the most evil companies involved in organic food production.

Cornucopia Institute explains:

WhiteWave CEO, and former Dean Foods CEO, Gregg Engles knows as much about vegetables as he knew about dairy when he orchestrated a global feeding frenzy in that market to build Dean Foods.  The end result was the destruction of dozens of independently owned, regional dairy businesses and thousands of jobs.  After they were done pillaging they then jettisoned the WhiteWave division earlier this year.

Now Engles and WhiteWave are setting their sights on exploiting these assets on Wall Street as well.  WhiteWave has announced its purchase of organic vegetable producer Earthbound Farm for $600 million.

This is the same management that built the Horizon dairy label in its early years with virtually all their milk coming from giant “organic” factory farms, with as many as 10,000 cows living in their own filth. (One such operation was eventually shut down, through the USDA certification process, after a legal complaint by The Cornucopia Institute.)  WhiteWave still depends on giant dairies in the desert West, some milking thousands of cows, for a large percentage of their milk production.

This is the same company and management that, after buying “organic” soybeans from China, took over the Silk soymilk product line and converted it from 100% organic to virtually no certified organic products/sales volume — replacing organic with “natural” products.

We have covered these topics before and were especially upset over the move to exterminate American organic soy farmers from Silk production.

Many people may find this story a business success story, and it is if it weren’t for the ethics of Dean Foods/White Wave.   The Monterey Herald reports:

Myra Goodman said she and her husband, Drew, made $10,000 their first year in business.

From a small stand in front of their garage, the Goodmans started Earthbound Farm in 1984 by selling organic raspberries — long before consumers began to ask for organic products.

“We just wanted to make enough of a living to keep living on our farm in beautiful Carmel Valley,” Myra Goodman said Monday afternoon.

After nearly 30 years on top, the Goodmans and their shareholders announced they were selling their organic produce company for roughly $600 million to WhiteWave, a Broomfield, Colo.-based milk producer.

The couple still owns about 10 percent of the company — now the largest organic produce grower in the nation — until the deal is approved, likely in January. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals.

I have never been a fan of Earthbound Farms, as it is always over packaged and I fear plastic; however, I have purchased it on many occasions as it is readily available in most supermarkets in cities lacking in coops and natural food stores.

It is always best to shop locally.  It is the best way to prevent inadvertently supporting an organic brand that is owned by a major corporation that is in it just for then money and not the principles.   Farmer’s markets are mostly shut down in winter time, but most natural food stores reveal the origins of their produce.  Stay close to home and support farmers.

 

Comments

There are currently no comments on this post, be the first by filling out the form below.

Speak Your Mind

*