MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – General Mills is investing $50,000 to support the Canada-based Prairie Organic Grain Initiative (POGI), a multi-year program aimed at building resiliency and stability in the organic field crop sector while increasing the quantity and quality of organic field crops in Canada. This investment comes on the heels of the company’s announcement earlier this year to nearly double its natural and organic sales to $1 billion by 2020.
“We’re excited to join the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative. We believe this program represents a significant opportunity for General Mills to further build our capabilities and pave the way for General Mills to become an industry leader in natural and organic,” said Beth RobertsonMartin, senior manager of natural and organic sourcing at General Mills.
The organic food market has been growing rapidly, which has made sourcing certified organic ingredients increasingly difficult. POGI’s primary focus is to address the shortage of organic grain growers by initiating several programs that will entice conventional growers to make the transition to organic farming..
"Recognizing our expansion in natural and organic will require a more robust pipeline of natural and organic growers, we are focused on doubling the amount of organic farming acreage in North America by 2020," added RobertsonMartin. “POGI is one way we’re ensuring the long-term sustainable supply of these ingredients.”
Since 2000, General Mills has steadily grown its natural and organic business with the acquisitions of brands like Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, LÄRABAR, Food Should Taste Good, Immaculate Baking, Liberté and Mountain High. Today, with the addition of Annie’s in 2014, General Mills is the fourth-largest U.S. natural and organic food producer and among the top five organic ingredient purchasers in the North American packaged foods sector.
POGI has also received funding from provincial organic trade associations as well as several other food companies, including KIND, Nature’s Path and Dave’s Killer Bread. Additionally, the Canadian federal government announced last month that it was allocating $1.2 million to help fund the group.
To learn more about General Mills' ongoing sustainable sourcing efforts, visit www.generalmills.com/Responsibility. For more information about POGI, visit www.organicalberta.org.
Contact: Shannon Heine
About General Mills
General Mills is one of the world’s leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries around the world. Its brands include Cheerios, Fiber One, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., USA, General Mills had fiscal 2014 worldwide sales of US $17.9 billion.