More than 80% of U.S. households purchase organic food or beverages on a regular basis, which is great, but that still only accounts for roughly 5% of total U.S. food and beverage sales. Currently, organic alcohol makes up less than 1% of total alcohol industry sales which is pretty crazy.
I have always said, “Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good. Focus on progress not perfection!”
And it has helped me navigate raising four kids, through their teenage years and into college!
But there is something that hasn’t caught up with the food industry, and that is the spirits category. So when the team at Prairie Organic Spirits first reached out, I was thrilled to learn what they are doing!
You may not have heard of them, but they are the nation’s leading organic spirit brand. You need to know them. Stat.
And with a new program that is simply awesome, they are toasting to the environment with a new, industry-leading initiative. Through its “Spirit of Change Fund,” Prairie Organic will commit 1 percent of sales to support the next generation of organic farmers and to help transition more conventional farmland to organic.
I mean, who wouldn’t love that!? Less than 1 percent of farmland in the United States is organic. Why not enlist the help of the spirits industry to convert it?
And heaven knows we need it. I’ve been preaching about the need to support farmers for decades, particularly those who want to shift from growing genetically engineered corn and soy to products that 21st century families want and need. If we are going to #dumpthejunk, then we have to convert our farmland. Period. And while we are doing that with food, we also need to do that with our drinks! So I absolutely love Prarie Organic’s mission to not only grow organic farmland but also to grow organic spirits as a category. They’re aiming for 5% which is where the food industry stands when it comes to organic.
But if you ask me, we can do better. If you think about it, 5% is only 1 out of every 20 items that you put in your shopping cart. We can do better than that. Think about the difference we would make if 1 out of every 10 things in our shopping cart, either spirits or food, was organic! Farmers would hear that message loud and clear and could work with brands and organizations to convert! We could drive change so quickly.
More than 80 percent of U.S. households purchase organic food or beverages on a regular basis [source: Organic Trade Association 2017 survey], which is great! But that still only accounts for roughly 5 percent of total U.S. food and beverage sales. Currently, organic alcohol makes up less than 1 percent of total alcohol industry sales which is pretty crazy, considering how much care we take with the products we put in our shopping carts (and home bars!) The bottom line is that we can do better.
“The spirits industry significantly lags behind food and beverage when it comes to organics,” said Mike Duggan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Prairie Organic Spirits. “It’s time we lead the industry to do better, so we started the Spirit of Change Fund as our commitment to helping make a significant, lasting impact on our environment.”
Imagine if other companies followed? Imagine if some of the beer companies committed to the Spirit of Change program? Think of what we could do together.
Thankfully, the Spirit of Change Fund’s primary partner will be Rodale Institute, a non-profit committed to growing the organic movement through research, farmer training and consumer education. Initially, Prairie Organic Spirits will provide 10 scholarships for interns accepted into Rodale Institute’s Next Generation Scholarship Program, which provides practical, hands-on organic agriculture knowledge and skills to future organic farmers. That is simply awesome and such a great start!
I have known the amazing team at Rodale for a very long time, and they are the real deal.
In Duggan’s words, “Rodale Institute is a pioneer in the organic industry, and its programming has pushed the organic industry to where it is today. We couldn’t be more thrilled – and proud – to begin a strong partnership with Rodale and its farmers to help promote the growth of more organic farmland.”
What Has to Happen Next?
We need others in the industry, including distributors, retailers, bars and restaurants, to work toward the same goal. This is so doable, and the wheels of change are already in motion. Did you see those Superbowl ads for organic beer? It’s happening, but these companies need a solid nudge from consumers. Whether you drink or not, you know someone who does, right?
New squad goal! Grow organic spirits to 5% of total US alcohol sales. The potential impact would be huge: approximately 8 million acres of conventional farmland would be converted to organic and about 7.4 million pounds of pesticides would go unused annually .
I love everything about this, and I hope that other spirits makers follow. It is so important to think about everything we put in our bodies, in our refrigerators and home bars. None of us can do everything but all of us can do something, and I am grateful that Prairie Organic Spirits is leading this important initiative!
This post was sponsored by Prairie Organic Spirits and is only intended for persons of legal drinking age (21+). Prairie Organic Spirits reminds you to enjoy their products responsibly.