Annie’s started as a company committed to making a difference and to show by example that a successful business can also be socially responsible. From the start, we provided our consumers clean, simple and real ingredients. In 1998, we began sourcing organic ingredients for our products. Since the beginning, we’ve never lost sight of the fact that the ingredients we use to make our products come from the land that all life— people, plants and animals—depends upon. Unfortunately, numerous studies show that our natural resources are in severe decline.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment conducted by the United Nations in 2005 found that 15 of the 24 ecosystem services that directly contribute to human wellbeing—fresh water, air, water purification,and the regulation of regional and local climate, among others—are being systematically degraded through human use. And according to a 2012 report by the World Wildlife Fund, we are currently consuming natural resources at a rate faster than Earth can replenish them: in one year, we consume the resources that will take the Earth 1.5 years to fully regenerate. This, of course, is not sustainable.
At Annie’s, we know that something must be done to address this imbalance and bring us toward greater harmony with earth’s natural systems. That’s why organic is the foundation of all of our sustainability efforts. We know that organic farming is where the company has the ability to make the most impact, and we believe that by making our goal simple— to always prioritize organic—we can help drive meaningful change for a better, cleaner food system.
Organic farming, at its simplest level, is about working with nature and not against it. It is about environmental stewardship through ecological processes that build soil fertility,prevent soil erosion, promote and enhance biodiversity, and minimize risks to human and animal health and natural resources.Rather than relying on toxic chemicals that pollute—and, worse, accumulate in—the soil, water and air, organic farmers build healthy soils through natural management processes such as cover cropping and crop rotations.
Over the past five years, Annie’s has nearly doubled the amount of organic ingredients that we purchase. In FY2012 (which cover sthe time period April 2011 through March 2012), we purchased 34 million pounds of organic ingredients, which is a 15% increase since the last fiscal year. We also increased sales of our organic products; organic products now represent 85% of Annie’s total sales, up from 70% five years ago. In addition,we work diligently to source only non-GMO ingredients.
We are partnering with the Non-GMO Project to verify our products don’t contain GMOs. To date, we have many products that have been certified under their strict standard, and we continue to work through the remaining products in our portfolio. We are also a founding partner of the Just Label It campaign, an organization actively engaged at the federal level in pushing for national GMO labeling standards.
Learn more about our mission here.