July 10, 2023
Sponsored by Global Organics
Setting industry standards for a sustainable and ethical organic food sector takes strong investment in both integrity and long-term partnerships. Global Organics understands this. The ingredient distributor has provided certified organic food ingredients to manufacturers and wholesalers worldwide since 1992—a decade before the USDA National Organic Program put the organic seal into action in 2002. Key to the company’s success through both flourishing and challenging economic times has been its focus on strong relationships, organic enforcement and sustainable practices.
“Organics is a tough business to be in. But we have been around for 30 years—our commitment to organics has been long and deep. Through this time, we have seen our customers grow and we have grown with them. Today, we import 1,000s of tons of organic sugar, but when we started, our first shipment was only 1200 tons and it was before it was even called organic,” says Ravi Arora, Director of Sales and Marketing at Global Organics. “This ability to maintain the trust and the faith of our vendors, customers and employees over the last 30 years as we have seen them grow is a huge accomplishment in this tough business.” He adds, “A second accomplishment is being able to support the farmers and farmer communities so that their products actually get converted into ingredients.”
"We started Global Organics with sugar and collaborated with a mill in Brazil,” explains Arora. This mill, owned by Native Organics (part of the Balbo Group) happened to be the centerpiece of Native’s Green Cane Project, which was started in 1987 to focus on developing a sustainable system of sugarcane production. “Today, this project stands as one of the largest single organic initiatives worldwide, proving that large-scale organic production is absolutely achievable."
Choosing the right partners
In 2022, organic food sales in the United States reached a significant milestone, surpassing $60 billion for the first time, according to the Organic Trade Association. This achievement showcases the continued growth and resilience of the organic sector, reaffirming the strong demand for organic products among consumers. Global Organics meets this call thanks in part to its longstanding partnership with Natíve Organics, whose longstanding Green Cane Project resulted in the sugar producer becoming both the first Brazilian company to be Regenerative Organic Certified™ (ROC) and the world’s first ROC sugar.
“This accomplishment sets a remarkable precedent in the industry and showcases our commitment to promoting regenerative organic practices."
Native's Green Cane Project stands as the largest certified organic cane project under one management in the world, showcasing an impressive production capacity of 109,000 MT (approximately 240,303,065 pounds) of organic sugar at the company’s UFRA mill. Pioneering the harvesting of green (unburned) cane in Brazil 35 years ago, the project has made significant contributions to sustainability, resulting in more than 8,000 acres of “Biodiversity Islands,” the planting of more than 2.6 million trees and fostering greater biodiversity in the surrounding area. Notably, the project is carbon-neutral, certified by a third party and sells credits in Brazil's RenovaBio program. During the harvest season, it generates surplus electricity equivalent to powering a city of several hundred thousand inhabitants.
In addition to environmental achievements, Native's Green Cane Project offers extensive support to its 5,000 employees and their families, providing profit-sharing, social and educational programs and subsidized medical care. It has obtained multiple Fair Trade and other specialty organic and regenerative certifications, as well as food safety certifications such as BRC and ISO 22000. Recognized as a "New Sustainability Champion" by the World Economic Forum in 2011, Native's Green Cane Project continues to lead the way in sustainable agriculture.
Native's dedication to soil health, carbon sequestration and fair treatment of farmers and workers aligns perfectly with Global Organics' values. This shared commitment influences Global Organics’ relationships with other suppliers as well. "As a company deeply involved in the sugar business, we recognized the need to expand our offerings. This led us on a search for chocolate, which ultimately led us to form a partnership with ICAM, an independent private company from Italy sourcing its cocoa from Western Africa,” explains Arora. “This strategic collaboration has allowed us to bring exceptional chocolate products to our customers, further diversifying our range of offerings."
By prioritizing strong relationships with ethical suppliers, Global Organics ensures that their entire supply chain reflects this commitment to sustainability and ethical practices. These partnerships enable the company to deliver products that not only meet the highest quality standards but also align with the values of conscious consumers.
Meeting Consumers with Sustainability and Quality Assurance
A 2022 report from NeilsenIQ revealed that a substantial 78% of consumers prioritize leading a sustainable lifestyle, highlighting the growing importance of sustainability in purchasing decisions. This research also indicates that 30% of consumers are more inclined to purchase a product if it aligns with their sustainability values. Further, products with sustainability related claims, such as organic, experienced higher growth (8.1% cumulative) in the past five years than products without them. These statistics underscore the significance of Global Organics' commitment to sustainable practices and their ability to meet the evolving demands of conscious consumers.
“During this time, we diligently examine their documentation, conduct visits, assess their processes and verify their adherence to organic standards. This rigorous vetting process is crucial in maintaining the trust of our customers and ensuring that every product meets our stringent quality requirements."
In addition to their focus on quality, Global Organics recognizes the significance of long-term relationships and sustainable supply chains in the organic industry. This means looking after the people and communities they work with, beyond just having a focus on agricultural practices and the planet. "Organic farming is something you can't turn on and off very easily... farmers and processors are dependent on our consistent purchases and continuous market development," explains Arora.
By fostering strong partnerships and providing ongoing market support, Global Organics ensures a reliable and resilient supply chain. Their commitment to sustaining these relationships not only benefits the organic industry but also contributes to the success of farmers and processors who rely on their consistent support. “Together, we can create a positive impact on the environment, support farming communities and provide consumers with high-quality organic options that they can trust.”
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