Cargill, Rodale, Bell & Evans Partner to Transition 50K Acres of U.S. Corn and Soy to Organic
Cargill, the largest private agribusiness in the U.S., has partnered with Rodale Institute, one of the country’s most renowned organic institutes, and chicken producer Bell & Evans to launch a new project called the U.S. Organic Grain Initiative with the goal of transitioning more than 50,000 acres of U.S. corn and soy farmland to organic.
Over the past 10 years sales of organic foods have more than doubled to reach $55 billion in 2019, however, the area of certified organic cropland has not kept pace, accounting for only one half of one percent of U.S. cropland. The resulting gap in organic grain supplies has created a window of opportunity for fraud, especially in the animal feed space.
Under the framework of the U.S. Organic Grain Initiative, Cargill will actively recruit farmers interested in transitioning to organic production. Prospective farmers must be located in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, or Pennsylvania and have a minimum of 150 acres available to commit. Once signed on, the Rodale Institute will assist with organic system planting, and address technical challenges associated with the transition. Bell & Evans will advance a contract to each farmer (through Cargill) as a guaranteed buyer for a term of between two-five years, which will not only help the farmer, but will also secure the needed supply for Bell & Evans to expand its business.