These days, even a sack of dung with the word “organic” on it would sell like the last 90% off Marc Jacobs bag at the Barney’s warehouse sale. With Wal-Mart’s foray into organic foods, Whole Food’s rapid expansion, and a public that’s increasingly mistrustful of conventionally grown, GMO foodstuffs, it is appropriate that the conference’s opening general session was on the organic food industry. The panel - which included an organic farming advocate, executives from Chipotle and Kraft, and a journalist or two - discussed where the $15 billion a year industry is now, and how best to take advantage of where it is going. The Accidental Hedonist has a pretty good idea of where it’s going: organic beer, organic lipstick, organic shampoo, organic Pixie Stix. The first line of this post was meant to be a joke (no, really?), but the brand dilution of the organic label is a serious issue. We could easily end up with products that are organic by letter but not in spirit (this is already happening), making the label useless to consumers while large companies profit off the resulting confusion. Then again, you can always buy local, which is usually as advertised.
Wal-Mart’s Organic Offensive [BusinessWeek]
FTC requests more info on Whole Foods, Wild Oats [MarketWatch]
Is Monsanto Going to Seed? [Motley Fool]
Conference Agenda [IACP]
About Organic labels… [Accidental Hedonist]
NY Times Exposes Wal-Mart’s Ability to Sell Cheap Organic Milk–It’s Coming from Factory Farms [Organic Consumer Assoc.]
[Photo: Draper’s Organic]