General Mills products will soon be sourced from 250,000 organic acres. The company recently announced its decision to bump up this goal from 2020 to 2019, a move that will double the current organic acreage from which the company sources its ingredients.
The goal of 250,000 organic acres will bring General Mills closer to its objective of reaching $1 billion in net sales from natural and organic products by 2019, nearly doubling the current total of $675 million net from organic General Mills products.
The company plans to build partnerships with farmers to accelerate the completion of this goal, according to John Church, General Mills’ executive vice president of supply chain. “To achieve the growth we anticipate for our natural and organic brands, we will need a more robust pipeline of organic growers,” Church said in a statement.
General Mills' decision was made in direct response to research conducted by the company indicating that half of all consumers don’t want artificial ingredients in their food. To this end, the company has also pledged to revamp nearly half of its products by 2017, including the removal of artificial flavors and colors from the 25 percent of its cereals that still contain them.
The decision to up its organic acreage is in line with General Mills' consistent moves in the direction of producing more natural and organic products. Its acquisition of such companies as Annie’s, Muir Glen, Cascadian Farms, and LARABAR has made it the third-largest natural and organic food producer in the country.
In addition to its organic pledges, the company has also committed to address climate change with regards to its production. The company pledged to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions connected to General Mills products by 2025 and achieve sustainable emission levels in 2050.
General Mills has increased its organic acreage by 120 percent since 2009, and it is one of the top five companies sourcing organic ingredients in the U.S.
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