In September, Organic Harvest Month, Colorado-based Natural Grocers customers raised $94,500 for the Organic Farmers Association, an organization that represents organic U.S. farmers via grants, research and organic farming policy matters in Washington, D.C. Natural Grocers shoppers across 19 states made in-store contributions and exceeded a $50,000 target goal by 88 percent, further proving shoppers are voting with their dollars to support organic farmers and the creation of more organic farmland in the U.S.
"Organic Farmers Association feels so fortunate to have fostered a partnership with Natural Grocers in preserving opportunities for certified organic family farmers," said Kate Mendenhall, director of the Organic Farmers Association. "This fundraising effort will greatly elevate the national voice of certified organic farmers—ensuring that their policy priorities are heard in Washington and they receive the policy and regulatory support they need to focus on farming good, healthy food."
The funds raised will also help provide scholarships to organic farmers to travel to Washington, D.C., where they will receive training for effectively communicating the challenges they see on their farms and those of their fellow organic farmers to our federal representatives and senators. Scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to personally meet with their local elected officials.
“Our relationship with the Organic Farmers Association is an extension of Natural Grocers’ commitment to providing consumers with access to high-quality natural and organic foods at affordable prices. When you purchase organic food, you’re supporting local, organic farmers and fostering a healthier environment,” said Kemper Isely, co-president of Natural Grocers. “We are proud to partner with the Organic Farmers Association to help amplify the voice of certified organic farmers.”
The United States includes more than 18,500 certified organic farmers, and 96 percent of them are small businesses. "Increasing the numbers of real organic farmers entering the halls of Washington makes a large impact and helps keep the needs of real farmers at the center of sustainable food and agriculture policy," said Mendenhall.
For more information, visit www.naturalgrocers.com.