True Food Movement recently had the opportunity to sit down with Gary Hirshberg, the Chairman of Stonyfield Farms, and makers of probably the best-selling organic yogurt products in the country.
Hirshberg is passionate about healthy eating and the importance of true food in people’s diets. So passionate, in fact, that while he still holds the title of Chairman, he has mostly stepped down from the day-to-day of running the company so he can focus his efforts on the fight against GMOs and raising the profile of organic foods in the American marketplace. And the only way to do that in the U.S. is to affect change through policy, legislation, and regulation.
In addition to talking about GMOs, Hirshberg shared some interesting facts about organic food. The two main reasons why people choose to start eating organic is they either have children or they have a health event in their life that causes them to overhaul their diet. And the main reason why people don’t choose organic is simple … cost.
Hirshberg shared that organic is a $35 Billion industry in the U.S. and growing by 20% annually. And yet, it’s still only 4% of the entire American food market. Food costs are driven by efficiencies and conventional pricing models don’t yet work for farmers with the added costs of growing food and raising livestock organically. Hirshberg says until organic reaches at least 10% market share, that won’t be possible.
Most of his time with us was discussing GMO labeling, why it’s important, and what steps we as consumers can take to help enact the change needed to get labeling in this country. Watch the video above and hear what he has to say. Some of it will definitely surprise you.