The demand for organic food in America continues to grow, now making up more than 5 percent of food sales in the U.S., according to the Organic Trade Association. However, production continues to lag, with the USDA reporting that less than 1 percent of farmland is producing organic foods. Pipeline Foods LLC, a U.S.-based supply chain solutions company focused exclusively on non-GMO and organic food and feed, is setting out to narrow this gap. Pipeline is launching its Farm Profit Program, developed to “help farmers capitalize on the opportunity to diversify and increase profitability through organic, regenerative production practices.”
“The Farm Profit Program will help to substantially increase the number of organic grain producing acres in the U.S.,” said Erin Heitkamp, managing director of strategy, sustainability and assurance at Pipeline Foods. “Currently, the majority of organic grain consumed in the U.S. is imported. There’s a huge lack of resources to help farmers realize the pride and profitability that come with organic and regenerative farming practices, and Pipeline Foods can help farmers overcome these barriers.”
Pipeline has tapped Anders Gurda to join its team and lead Agronomy Solutions for the Farm Profit Program. With expertise in sustainable agriculture systems, Gurda previously managed an outreach program focused on organic grain production at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
“Anders has deep expertise in research and program management focused on organic and sustainable farming systems,” said Heitkamp. “We’re thrilled to have him join the Pipeline Foods team, where his unique knowledge and experience in coalescing resources and building community will be invaluable.”
The Pipeline Foods Farm Profit Program offers a number of services, including:
- Economic programs—Budget-based economic support recognizing the economic challenges that can be experienced during the conventional-to-organic transition period.
- Marketing—Customized marketing arrangements for all Certified Transitional and marketable organic crops.
- Crop Insurance—Help navigating the organic crop insurance program.
- Agronomic support—A three-year agronomic plan and customized, in-person advice from organic experts during the transition and beyond certification.
- Access to inputs and equipment—Access to regionally proven, highest value seed, fertilizer and equipment.
- Certification support—In-person advice on achieving and retaining organic certification.
- Community—Facilitated opportunities to connect with other local, interested and successful organic farmers and the larger “Pipeline Nation” of farmers.
The Farm Profit Program has central operations out of Pipeline Foods’ headquarters in Minneapolis, as well as a regional office based in Malden, Missouri. Pipeline Foods plans to add additional regional offices across the U.S. in 2018.
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