If you're reading this article, the chances are that - like me - you opt for organic food for yourself and your family, as best that you practically and affordably can. For me, this isn't limited to choosing organic food just because it's pesticide and GM-free. There's an ethical aspect too and I want our family's £s to support companies who have a moral compass that, in the main, lines up with ours.
Most of us would assume that all the certified organic food brands would meet this ideal, but you may be surprised to discover that things aren't all they seem with some once-ethical big name organic manufacturers. The Soil Association are currently reporting that for the fifth year running, sales of organic foods are continuing to grow in 2017, whilst non-organic food sales are declining. So it's not surprising that the organic food market has caught the attention of large processed food organisations, who also want to muscle in on a slice of the organic pie.
I, personally, don't want to line the pockets of the Big Food corporations that are creeping into the organics marketplace, so I no longer buy those brands – at all. The main ones to mention are Green & Black's (bought by Cadbury's, later with Kraft Foods as the parent company and now owned by Mondelez) and Rachel's Organics (first sold to Deans Foods of America and now owned by French corporation, Groupe Lactalis). Ella's Kitchen, the organic baby food brand, was also sold out to Hain Celestial (a company reportedly having Montsanto as one of its large investors).
I do wholeheartedly continue to support the following ethical organic food brands with my custom, as they've stayed true to their roots and ethical values, to the best of my knowledge.
Ethical organic brands I trust and support …
- Doves Farm
- Infinity Foods
- Suma Foods
- Duchy Originals
- Rude Health
Generally speaking, I also trust smaller, independent organic brands.
It's not just organic brands, but other ethical companies such as The Body Shop, Pret a Manger and Ben & Jerry's are all companies that made their names as ethical companies but have since been bought out by the kind of companies I personally prefer to avoid.
Well-known organic brands are clearly now being targeted by the "dirty" big food corporations that are infiltrating the organic market to capitalise on shoppers who buy with a conscience. Green & Black's and Rachel's Organics are brands I used to buy regularly, but which I boycott completely now, given that their current ownership is so far from what these brands originally represented.
All certified organic food still has it's environmental and health benefits over processed, pesticide-laden or GM foods, but with so many organic brands now available to us, we do thankfully have an abundance of choice as to who we support with our custom.
Know of other cases?
I'll update this post if I find any other brands that deserve inclusion, but please do share this post and let us know via the Comments section, if you're aware of any other organic brands we've missed, that have been taken over by big food companies.