Anyone unclear about the meaning of â??organicâ? can find clarity in any product bearing the Eden® name. From its beginnings as a natural food co-op to todayâ??s natural food giant, Edenâ??s pledge has been â??to deliver the safest, most nutritious, certified organically grown food that can be found.â?
Anyone unclear about the meaning of “organic” can find clarity in any product bearing the Eden® name. From its beginnings as a natural food co-op to today’s natural food giant, Eden’s pledge has been “to deliver the safest, most nutritious, certified organically grown food that can be found.”
In 1968, when Eden started as a small Ann Arbor, Michigan natural food co-op, organic farmers were hard to find. This presented a challenge, but hardly a deterrent to the Eden pledge. Slowly, but determinedly, farmers were found who would grow crops without using pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or chemical fertilizers.
Food Safety Audit Trail
Eden’s commitment to organically grown food motivated their pioneering work in developing an organic audit trail that involved every movement and food contact surface from the farm to storage, transportation, and all handling and packaging. Eden Foods is proud to say that “the buck stops here.” They do not delegate responsibility for organic authenticity to anyone.
“This system of sampling, testing, and record keeping is labour intensive and one reason that authentic organic food is rare,” says Michael Potter, Eden’s CEO and president. “I’m unaware of any other food company that spends a greater percentage of its time or money to ensure the growing, ingredients, and processing used for foods carrying its brand name.”
An Expanding Commitment
When Eden began their 38-year-long mission to deliver the safest food that can be found, sourcing and protecting an organic ideal was their vision. But with the increasing threat of genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) in our food chain, the company has had to face down another challenge to their pledge.
In 1993, Eden added a policy against GEOs and their derivatives in food. Steps to avoid GEOs now include:
- in-house GEO testing of each batch of corn and soybeans
- traditional methods of processing and fermentation, rather than pharmaceutical enzymes
- knowing their growers, suppliers, and their families
- supporting consumer and environmental organizations working for the mandatory labelling of GE food and ingredients
“This system to prevent GE contamination is another example of Eden and our business partners doing everything in our power to protect the integrity of food and abide by the wishes of our customers,” explains Potter. “At the same time we are protecting a crucial part of a safe and biodiverse food supply for future generations.”
Eden is an “Organic” Advocate
Eden has taken its responsibility to protect the future food supply with its outspoken stand against irradiation, GEOs, and weakening of organic standards. They have taken a leadership role in working with grassroots organizations and consumer groups to defend and improve the meaning of “organic.”
Says Potter, “We’re still doing what we set out to do and haven’t compromised: Get the best food possible and make it available to people.”