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corporate dominance

Corporate Control of organic food companie

It's a good thing to buy organic food but some favorite and prolific organic brand names have been bought up by the global giants. These global companies often work to undermine organic standards so they can make more money. You may want to consider alternative brands. Below is just a short list.

Kraft Foods bought small natural cereals producer Back to Nature in
2004. The company is a subsidiary of Altria Group, which also owns Phillip Morris Companies Inc., one of the largest cigarette makers in the world. Kraft also owns Boca Burger Inc.

Odwalla Inc., which produces natural and organic fruit juices, was purchased by Coca-Cola in 2001.

Dean Foods Co., the largest dairy company in the U.S., bought out Horizon Organic in 2003, in addition to Silk soymilk and White Wave tofu.

Kellogg's has acquired several natural and organic brands: Kashi Cereal and Morningstar Farms.

General Mills purchased Cascadian Farm, in 2000. The brand consists of items such as frozen fruit, vegetables, granola bars and fruit spreads. General Mills also bought out Muir Glen, which produces ketchup, tomato sauce, and salsa.

Unilever bought out Ben & Jerry's for $326 million.

Colgate-Palmolive Co. is purchasing Tom's of Maine, which specializes in natural oral and personal care products.

Learn more:  http://www.organicconsumers.org/sos.cfm

[ 01.May.2006 09:27


It is a shame that people who start out to do something better sell out to corporate interests. Money corrupts. This sort of thing also points to the tendency to see the small while missing the big.

Here is opportunity 01.May.2006 10:17

Brian the Green

For a variety of reasons we need to localize our economy. We also need to move from a corporate, centralized, heirachical form of enterprise to a locally owned, decentralized, partnership form of enterprise. Given the above list, it seems like there are opportunities to create local Portland brands to replace these corporate brands.

We do have alternatives but the local alternatives are still corporate, top-down institutions (Please correct me if I'm wrong).

Which of these products have local alternatives?

Ota Tofu and Dae Han Tofu for Tofu and Soy Milk
Pacific Foods for Soy Milk and Nut Milks
Columbia Gorge for Juices

Could we create a cooperative to supply Portland with any of these goods?

map of it 01.May.2006 10:21

found elsewhere


tell your co-op! 01.May.2006 11:06

yes man

tell or better yet yell at your local co op for more local options.

most natural foods including much of what the co ops sell comes from UNFI a wall street corporation with blood on its hands.

ask your co op to figure out the % of UNFI crap they sell, you would be surprised!

stop buying stuff from UNFI which has a monopoly over the wholesale of natural foods.

recent developments within UNFI also suggests new management wants more sales and more profit, while undermining the small stores in favor of large customers. they've also become more hostile to employees in the last couple of years.

other suggestions 01.May.2006 12:43

Buy Cascadian

I know that People's Co-op stocks local alternatives to corporate products whenever possible, and suspect that the other co-ops (Food Front in NW and Alberta Cooperative in NE) do the same. They can't make products appear out of thin air, so if you have an idea for a type of item and think you would do a good job making it as a lifestyle, then go for it! Find out how to go into business, what has to be done to legitimately sell a food item to stores. People's had been selling some tremendously good organic sugar-free sushi, but the woman who was making them tired of the venture and quit doing it.

A local fellow named Eric makes a lot of delicious raw crackers, pates, and "living" sauerkraut:

Home delivery of local organic produce:

Shopping at farmers' markets is a great way to buy only local produce:

I don't want to start a whole discussion about New Seasons, but they are MUCH more "local friendly" than the other corporate stores, so you may want to prefer them over Wild Oats and others if you're going to shop the for-profit stores.

Here is an interesting page on the People's Co-op website about their purchasing guidelines. They also strive to carry GMO-free food, item direct from local farmers and business people, and items from cooperative / collective farms and businesses.

Anyone have any more tips?

thanks for the thoughtful post 01.May.2006 22:26



lets build more co ops 02.May.2006 15:27

ex staffer

the only way to counter is to build more co ops and buying clubs.

recently a few people's members discussed the possibility of a co operative warehouse whose sole mission is to build and support local producers.

i'd like to hear other ideas??

N Portland could use a co-op 02.May.2006 23:23


I've been thinking for years about how a co-op could be opened in N Portland, given all the people who live there and shop at New Seasons / Fred Meyer's because they think Alberta Co-op is too far away.

Wish I had the time / resources to do such a thing. Anyone?

North Portland Food buyers club 03.May.2006 13:03

Neil blackrosecollective@riseup.net

It's so easy to stand on the outside, complaining and critiquing,and waiting for someone else to lead the way. How about we make it happen ourselves ?

People from the Mississippi Haus cooperative and the Blackrose Collective Bookstore are working on restarting the community food buyers club, that they had going for about 3 years. There is a sign up list at the desk in the bookstore, which is located at,4038 N.Mississippi Ave, between N.Shaver and N.Mason,or you can email us. We will be working with a smaller Oregon natural foods distributor.

Members are also part of a group that is starting discussion about setting up a Portland,warehouse and Northwest distribution. The meetings will be held at People's Food co-op,3029 SE 21st Ave,between SE Clinton & SE Powell. Date of meeting still being worked on. We'll post the meetings when we have dates..

found elsewhere's 03.May.2006 15:28


Truly depressing. At least I'm fortunate enough to have enough acres to grow quite a bit of my own fool- you can bet that any extras will end up at the farmer's market.

Jah love money... 07.May.2006 14:55


Yes man said..." tell or better yet yell at your local co op for more local options".
and when you have finished yelling at your local co-op, also go yell at the local producers, like Caspian Blossom , and tell them to stop buying their ingredients, that make up their over priced baklava, 5oz for $4.99 from UNFI, which as yes man said is...
"most natural foods including much of what the co ops sell comes from UNFI a wall street corporation with blood on its hands"

ask your co op to figure out the % of UNFI crap they sell, you would be surprised. And ask Caspian Blossom what % of their ingredients come from UNFI ?

stop buying stuff from UNFI which has a monopoly over the wholesale of natural foods.And start making your own puff pastry and use local nuts and other ingredients ?.

You talk the talk, now start walking the walk..

thanks for the kind words 31.Jan.2008 00:44

Caspian Blossom

I was just googling our company name and came across your comments directed at our little family run micro business. I just wanted to correct some of the mis-information in your little attack.

We don't buy anything directly from UNFI. We've never bought anything directly from UNFI and probably never will due to their labor practices alone. Have we bought items in the past from stores such as People's, Food Front, New Seasons and Wild Oats who buy from UNFI? Yes. We have bought thousands of dollars worth of ingredients from People's especially and will continue to support their operations as they support ours.

As far as the Baklava price goes, it's actually $4.49 for 3.5 oz in the two piece packages.

As soon as we are able to, we will start making what you call "puff" pastry in our tiny little kitchen. So, look for Caspian Blossom Fillo Dough in the next few months.............

We also offer fresh deli goodies such as vegan Brown rice/lentil dolmas, persian eggplant dip, saffron rice pudding, sesame halva and quinoa tabouleh all made with as much local and organic ingredients as possible.