Denver-based Ardent Mills recently announced a new organic initiative committed to helping U.S. wheat growers double organic wheat acres by 2019.
“Ardent Mills’ vision is to be the trusted partner in nurturing our customers, consumers and communities through innovative and nutritious grain-based solutions, and our new organic initiative demonstrates one of the many ways we're bringing that vision to life,” says Ardent Mills CEO Dan Dye. “Today, there is growing demand from restaurants and food companies for organic wheat flour for use in fresh, packaged and menu recipes. This is a significant opportunity for growers to become a part of an emerging market and to create additional value for their crops on the path to organic certification. We have been providing organic flour since 1996 and feel we are well-positioned to meet this bold challenge.”
Mike Miller, Ardent Mills’ vice president of risk management, explains, “We're very excited to work with farmers as they transition to this growing market and to provide our customers with an assured supply in support of their new product and menu introductions. We know there is demand that will continue to increase well into the future. We've heard from farmers we work with, and we understand the barriers that they face when transitioning to organic. Ardent Mills is addressing these challenges with our Organic Initiative 2019.”
As farmers join the company’s organic initiative, they will have access to direct support services, workshops and long-term contracts for transitional and organic wheat bushels.
“Oregon Tilth is eager to share best practices and share knowledge among farmers working through the challenges of transition to organic agriculture,” explains Sarah Brown, Oregon Tilth education director. “We believe that collaborative education―peer-to-peer learning, model sharing and capacity building―serves to support successful entry into organic farming, offering buyers and farmers a solid path to connect market opportunities with on-the-ground efforts to implement sustainable conservation practices on the farm.”
“Ardent Mills has been a great industry partner, and we commend the company for reaching out to our growers to offer new incentives to meet a growing market segment,” states Brett Blankenship, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NWGA). “There is an opportunity for a premium, and the incentive gives farmers access to an additional market and a new income stream while meeting growing consumer demand for organic wheat flour and organic foods. Ardent Mills is to be commended for developing an incentive-based approach that may be attractive to our growers.”
Farmers interested in working with Ardent Mills on its Organic Initiative 2019 can email Shrene White at Organic.Initiative2019@ardentmills.com, call 844-421-2068 or visit ardentmills.com/tcap.