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Author: admin, 10.01.2016. Category: Gardening

These corporations can better afford to influence consumer demand for their products with expensive advertising. Four of the remaining independent companies, for example, are organized as cooperatives: Equal Exchange and Alvarado Street Bakery are employee cooperatives, Organic Valley is a producer cooperative and Frontier Natural Products is a wholesaler cooperative. The founders of organic food companies have learned firsthand or from others’ experiences the negative consequences acquisitions have on their more idealistic goals.
Competing against an increasing number of such profit focused firms may lead independents to converge toward the rest of the industry in some areas, even as they remain more idealistic in others. Such changes in the organic distribution and retail sectors create some of the most significant challenges to independence.
Consumers who want food companies that embody more of the original organic ideals would do well to seek out products from independent organic firms. With so many organic producers out there, perhaps you can point us to a reference where we can easily identify which ones are still independent? Having read your article, I think we should all try to buy as much as possible at local farmers markets? True fertilization as advocated by JJ Rodale, noted American Scientist, does not consist of just the mere adding of chemical fertilizer in the soil but rather the maintenance of an ecologically balanced soil. In the last 10 years and during the challenging time, the organic produce industry has surprisingly been resilient to the recession as shown on the graph below.
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This blog post isn’t written to give advice so much as it is to comfort and console and to lift our gaze up from our personal struggles to the bigger context in which they lie. It is a long post that might need more than one sitting to get through but the topic is worthy of the time invested.
In mid-March of this 2016, I had a two and half hour Skype conversation with Yahya Bakkar (pictured here) in New Jersey who had been following my work for years.
He has been a motivational speaker and is working to coach and mentor young men to find self-confidence and to believe in themselves. And he knows something about the need to believe in yourself as he was raised in a strict, religious family and was disowned by his adoptive father in his twenties because he wasn’t religious enough for him. I mean something more along the lines of a community expecting the arrival of the child and considering that this child might be coming to them from somewhere and that it might be bringing with it, in its tiny closed fists as it emerges from the womb, some sort of gifts for the community. My father died when I was nine years old from multiple sclerosis and I never had a strong male role model growing up. The desperation is present because the bomb we’re terrified might detonate already went off so many generations ago and we are standing in the crater of it. When someone isn’t skilled in an area and is being asked to take on a big job in that arena, the appropriate response is not, “You can do it! In a traditional culture, you’d never become a medicine person after taking a year-long course.
If a young person was born with a fascination in stories, maybe they might become a story teller.
But, in this culture, we are raised to conform, fit in, be a cog in the wheel of industry and progress.
In the video below, Poet Maya Angelou once recounts to comedian Dave Chappelle about her experience of meeting young rapper Tupac Shakur. I recall one story I heard from an elder who was sitting with a young man, an activist wrestling with the state of the world.
This culture is full of olders on drugs but has a deep poverty of elders dispensing medicine. Years ago, I interviewed the good David Waugh of the Natural Gifts Society about this issue.
When I left all of that, it was like the deep question: “Who am I?” It started to haunt me, and I had some time and I had some means so then I started to explore.

The metaphor that he used was — just like the acorn that has the blueprint of the mighty oak tree, it’s that specific.
It’s actually echoed in many indigenous traditions around, and like you say, the Catholic mystics also discovered that people have these innate or inherent gifts of spirit, that’s the way they articulated it.
Then I started in my research, I met an African shaman who really still — he’s quite modern in the sense that he has a couple of PhD’s, but he went through a traditional initiation. This is probably the oldest tradition on the face of the planet since modern research is showing that we all originated in Africa at one point, and this is an ancient idea that we’re — each person is unique and how to find that uniqueness and have it unfold.
A lot from our education system focuses on kind of standardized testing and there’s a lot of mixed messages like “You can be anything you want to be.” Well, that’s kind of life telling the acorn that it could be a rose or a sunflower, where it’s actually more precise in, you know, we’re fortunate enough if we can be who we’re meant to be. If you struggle with believing in yourself, the truth is that you may always be plagued with this. Many pioneering organic firms have been acquired by some of the largest food and beverage corporations in the world, such as Nestlé, Kraft and General Mills.
Arran Stephens, CEO of Nature’s Path, notes that, during the peak period of acquisitions, he received two bids on the same day and he continues to receive large, unsolicited offers on a frequent basis. They can also subsidize price cutting on organic foods with sales from other products, in order to drive their competitors out of business. Some independent firms sell to Wal-Mart, while others export their products all over the world, which may strike some organic farmers and consumers as contrary to the ideals of sustainability. The entrance of mainstream supermarkets into organic food retailing, for example, has brought with it the practice of charging fees to manufacturers in exchange for shelf space.
Distribution of processed organic foods also occurs primarily through just two firms, United Natural Foods Inc. Although we may not agree with all of their practices, they tend to emphasize more non-economic values, such as a commitment to sustainability and are more responsive to consumer demands than the massive food corporations of the world.
Howard, PhD, is an assistant professor at the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies at Michigan State University. Howard, PhD, Assistant Professor at the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies at Michigan State University who makes information graphics to visualize some issues surrounding food. In addition to being fun, the So You Think You Can Niche contest for 2016 has been a wonderful platform for learning and a genuine success. These folks win $100 off my upcoming Niching Spiral Homestudy course – a discount the winner can use or pass onto others. One doesn’t approach such a topic, so central to our experience of being human in the dominant cultures of the world, lightly or casually. I was inspired by his work and what it might mean for these boys with whom he’ll be working. I’m talking about the community believing that its well being hinges on those gifts being properly identified and fostered into their fullest fruition. The way she related to him was the way an elder relates to young people, a feeding of their deep importance in the scheme of things. Louis, ET the Hip Hop Preacher, a black motivational speaker, was confronted with deeply disrespectful behaviour from his audience of mostly black students. This culture is full of young people with gifts to give and no one to recognize those gifts. I would say one of the first mentors that I found when I was lost in my mid-life crisis, in that crisis all of my old identities didn’t work anymore. One of the first mentors that I came across was a fellow named James Hillman, who just passed away last year. Each person has something of a unique pattern, and that’s very different from a lot of how the culture represents us as more of a blank slate.
His name is Malidoma Some, and he says in their culture when the mother is pregnant with a new child, the medicine person or their shaman actually interviews the child when it’s in the womb through a kind of hypnosis, I suppose.
And see if that can’t be something more than a reflex, blanket reaction of positive affirmations. But not all organic brands have fallen victim to this trend; at least 18 nationally distributed organic brands have resisted consolidation by remaining independent. Many other independent firms report similar patterns, with offers that are much higher than typical for the food industry. Remaining independent is therefore not what an economist would call a rational decision, but what these firms have in common is a strong commitment to values beyond just profit. Mo Siegel, formerly of Celestial Seasonings and Greg Steltenpohl, formerly of Odwalla, both have regrets about losing financial control of their companies and the resulting emphasis on profit. Another example is introducing products that conflict with the organic movement’s original emphasis on less packaging and processing of foods.

Dean Foods was able to subsidize such slotting fees for Silk soymilk to place it in the conventional dairy case, which contributed to its dominance in the supermarket channel.
Given the very uneven playing field they are competing in, independent organic processors are unlikely to survive without such support. There's The Food System and Epidemics, Organic Farm Concentration, but the most damning of all is the whole series of charts that illustrate the consolidation and ownership of organic brands by mega-corporations. They will each receive a 30-minute coaching session with me ($150 value) + an electronic copy of The Niching Nest + $100 off my upcoming Niching Spiral Homestudy course, which will be fully launching soon! I’m talking about the community, its elders in particular, clearly seeing the seeds that have been handed down to the village from those who came before in the form of this little one and doing their best to ascertain the proper role for them.
They were men who wrote the personal growth books I devoured with a hunger I couldn’t understand. If we don’t become confident by a certain point, then it could be too late and the timer might run out, and the bomb could explode leaving us with a life of quiet desperation. His response was not to attack or shut them down but to confront them with a fierce love and honesty.
He has a wonderful book called “The Soul’s Code,” and that was my first hint that there’s some sort of code, there’s some sort of pattern and it’s really unique to each person.
Refusing such offers means not only giving up millions of dollars, but also facing the near certainty of increasing competition from some of the world’s largest food companies. In many cases, this is due to the principles and ideals of the founder, while in other firms, organizational structures are in place that discourage transfer of ownership.
Steltenpohl has said, “[Corporations] have an agenda to consolidate and concentrate power and wealth. Smaller companies often cannot afford the tens of thousands of dollars per product for each retail chain that is required to implement this strategy.
The smallest processors can bypass these giants if they sell directly to a nearby food cooperative, which totals approximately five percent of all organic food sales in North America. On the fifth day, she had a meltdown and, while he watched, tore up his only photo of himself as an infant. And, frankly, this job of being believed in is a village-sized job that has been foisted onto parents. But I am suggesting that the existence of this work and the clear need for it is a sign of the deep poverty of this culture and collapse of village mindedness. In this culture, we are led so far astray from the reason we might be here, the gifts we brought in the trust that our community would recognize them, that even finding our way back there is a miracle. You’ve taken on the work of a whole village in trying to find those gifts and then craft a way to give them.
What she does to Tupac is not to feed his ego, but to feed his soul and to tether him back into the history of his people. It should have been the job of everyone around you as you grew up to help you find the perfect role for you in your community and to become good at it so that your community could receive your gifts. The shipping costs of expanding direct sales beyond local stores may be prohibitive, however. I was trying to elder myself with personal growth books because there were no elders around.
Instead of understanding ourselves as a part of a community we are left to understand ourselves as some static, atomized individual who is responsible for making themselves feel worthy. All of those identities that I really thought — when people would ask me who I am, I would describe myself in those terms. It’s too much to ask of the parents and it might not actually be a job that is suited for parents particularly. And you would have, likely, been recognized as someone to groom for this role from a young age. As a result, some of the founders of these firms have stated that, if they were starting out today, they wouldn’t be able to make it.
Surely, the aunts and uncles and grandparents have some important role in fostering the young person’s belief in themselves.

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