In October, National Non-GMO Month is observed. During the past few years, the “non-GMO” claim has gained more momentum. Consumers increasingly view non-GMO products as those associated with health and wellness as they offer perceived simplicity and minimized processing, based on Nielsen research results recently shared by FoodNavigator-USA.
Throughout the food products value chain, many stakeholders have responded by taking a market-driven approach to serving these customers. Non-GMO product sales have followed, too. In the year that ended on July 30, 2016, non-GMO product sales by volume had increased 12 percent, according to Nielsen data reported in the FoodNavigator-USA story.
Sales growth has been supported by more non-GMO products being available. Some entrepreneurs and food companies have specialized in non-GMO and specialty goods and created brands and products synonymous with value-added claims. In some cases, large food businesses have acquired brands with value-added reputations to serve consumers who care more and more about product quality and integrity. The recent WhiteWave-Danone deal serves as an example.
Originally, Dannon announced a new position toward non-GMO ingredients in April 2016. Following the Danone announcement about acquiring WhiteWave in July 2016, Bloomberg reported an update about Dannon’s non-GMO commitment. See the full story here. It shares that Dannon has agreed to non-GMO ingredient procurement, and in the future, it plans that its flagship brands will only use milk from cows that exclusively consume non-GMO feed. The company estimates that fulfilling the non-GMO commitment will require 80,000 acres and 45,000 cows.
BigYield.us has a goal to help growers like you reach value-added product markets, including those desiring non-GMO goods and ingredients. Through the Verification Identifying Smart Plant System that BigYield.us has supported launching, growers can access a low-cost, third-party option to verify non-GMO crops that they grow. Otherwise known as VISPS, the program also has created standards and verification options for close-to-organic and transitional organic crops.
Ultimately, enrolling in the VISPS program enables growers to qualify their farms as Smart Farms, brand products with the Smart Farms designation and earn a premium from buyers seeking traceable products and ingredients. At noon on Thursday, Oct. 13, we’re hosting a webinar to share more information about the VISPS program. To participate, complete the registration form here: https://app.webinarjam.net/register/30217/1749bbe6df.
n the meantime, you can watch this video. It features Bill Cook of BigYield.us explaining about what growers can expect after they harvest VISPS-verified products and prepare to market them.
For more information about enrolling in VISPS or capturing big yields for non-GMO crops, please contact us anytime!