Executives from organic and natural food suppliers and a food merchandising manufacturer have formed the Bulk Is Green Council, an advocacy organization to help consumers, food manufacturers and grocers learn about the environmental and economic benefits of bulk foods and lessen the carbon footprint through reduced packaging.
The food price index of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations revealed that food cost was 28 percent higher in October 2008 than in October 2006 – and the USDA is predicting an additional 4% increase in 2009. Bulk foods are sold without a printed package, and packaging is estimated by the USDA to contribute at least 8% to the retail cost of food. Today, almost any food can be delivered from its source to the consumer in bulk form – and historically, bulk foods, including organic and natural varieties, are priced lower than their packaged counterparts, often as much as 50 percent.
Organic and natural bulk foods provide a more sustainable means of delivering food to the consumer. They greatly reduce deforestation and the use of petrochemicals for the creation of paper, plastic, ink and cardboard packages, thus reducing impact on our nation’s landfills. While most natural foods companies sell their products in recyclable packaging, there are still food companies that use non-recyclable materials, and some consumers choose not to recycle. As a result, an estimated 15 percent of America’s landfill mass is attributed to food packaging.
Further, bulk foods require less transportation to deliver. They do not require packaging components that must be produced and transported prior to being filled, and bulk food can be packed more densely to yield more efficient transport.
Forming the Bulk Is Green Council are Scott Johnson of Trade Fixtures, Clint Landis of Frontier Natural Products Co-op, Sarah Galusha of the Hain Celestial Group, Morty Cohen of SunRidge Farms and Aaron Anker of GrandyOats.
The council will collect and conduct research and provide that information at its web site, www.bulkisgreen.org, as well as to the media.
“With the recent increases in both food and energy costs and the urgent need to reduce the impact of global warming,” said Morty Cohen, “the Bulk Is Green Council provides an excellent opportunity to share with consumers and retailers alike the economic and environmental benefits of bulk organic and natural foods.”
“All of us on the council think a better lifestyle and a better environment go hand in hand,” said Sarah Galusha. “We are committed to providing products through a sustainable delivery system, and to increasing consumer awareness that bulk foods offer an economical and green choice.”
The headquarters of the Bulk Is Green Council is in Little Rock, Ark.
More information about the Bulk Is Green Council is available at www.bulkisgreen.org.