Just a few years ago, our team took a field trip to a family farm outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan. While there, we met Karen – a farmer whose passion for farming was rooted in desire to feed her family more wholesome food. We discussed the challenges farmers face when converting their farmland to organic, and while the desire may be there, the financial barriers are high. During the three-year transition, farmers use organic practices but are not paid organic prices. So, we got to thinking. How could we increase the availability and accessibility of organics, while also meeting the needs of the aspiring organic farmers? With a passion for sustainable agriculture, Certified Transitional sparked a movement to increase organic farmland in the U.S.
Through our partnership with QAI, Certified Transitional launched in 2016 with two farmers and 860 acres. A lot has happened since then!
In 2018, Kashi sources Certified Transitional ingredients from more than 4,200 acres on their way to organic – a 400% increase in acreage since the launch!
Fifteen farms have participated in Certified Transitional, with farmers growing wheat, dates, sorghum, almonds, corn, oats and rice.
Eric (left) and Richard (right), Certified Transitional Farmers)
In 2016, Kashi worked to bring to market our first Certified Transitional product – Dark Cocoa Karma Shredded Wheat Biscuits. This new cereal highlighted transitional wheat and guaranteed crop purchases from Certified Transitional farmland. With help from our amazing Kashi fans, the cereal became the best performing cereal innovation for Kashi in over 5 years. Since then, the family of Kashi’s Certified Transitional products now includes Dark Cocoa Karma, six flavors of Chewy Nut Butter Bars, and our newest Cinnamon French Toast cereal!
Now, for the best part! None of this would have been possible without your help. Yes, you! When you purchase one of our Certified Transitional products, you help farmers as they transition to organic farming practices. More specifically, your purchase allows Kashi to continue guaranteeing fair prices for transitional crops. Since the program began, we are proud to announce that farmers have received over $1 million in premiums. You read that right - $1 million! We are so thankful for our incredible Kashi fans, and hope you take some pride in that number, too. Together, we can transform the organic farmland landscape in the United States.
One person makes a difference, one box at a time.
Since Phil and Gayle Tauber founded Kashi in 1984, Kashi has been on a mission to change the way we eat. We know a healthy planet provides the foundation for shared wellness, and we believe a healthy ecosystem is one that is sustainable. Our hope is that the Certified Transitional program will speed the switch to organics to create a positive impact on the planet and food systems we share.