Home for Health

organic1I've been hearing a lot of muttering about "big organics" -- that's usually code for
Wal-Mart -- and "Chinese organics" -- usually used as a short-form expression to
mean the opposite of locally grown organics.

What I've not been hearing much about is the corporate ownership of many
familiar American organic brands. So I was fascinated to see Michigan State
University Assistant Professor Phil Howard's chart of organics ownership.
Howard is in the department of community, agriculture, recreation and resource
studies.

Until 2005, Heinz appears to have had the most holdings. The 24th largest food
processor, Heinz has a stake in Hain Celestial Group, the 85th largest food
processor. Hain Celestial, in turn, owns the following brands: Millina's Finest,
Fruitti di Bosca, Walnut Acres, Mountain Sun, ShariAnn's, Tofu Town, Westbrae,
Bearitos, Westsoy, Little Bear, Celestial Seasonings, Imagine/Rice Dream/Soy
Dream, Breadshop, Casbah, Health Valley, Arrowhead Mills, DeBole's, Garden
of Eatin', Spectrum Organics, Nile Spice and Earth's Best. According to research
by Paul Glover and Carole Resnick of the Greenstar Food Co-op in Ithaca, N.Y.,
Hain's largest investors include Philip Morris, Monsanto, Citigroup, Exxon-Mobil,
Wal-Mart and Lockheed Martin.

Here are the owners of the other brands Howard studied:

The number in parentheses is the company's rank in North American food sales.

Kraft (No. 2): Boca Foods, Back to Nature. Kraft is owned by Phillip Morris.
Pepsi (No. 3): Naked Juice
Dean Foods (No. 6): Alta Dena, Horizon, The Organic Cow of Vermont. Glover
and Resnick say that Dean Foods main investors include Microsoft, General
Electric, Citigroup, Pfizer, Philip Morris, Exxon-Mobil, Coca Cola, Wal-Mart,
PepsiCo and Home Depot
General Mills (No. 7): Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen. Glover and Resnick report
that General Mills' stockholders include Philip Morris, Exxon-Mobil, General
Electric, Chevron, Nike, McDonald's, Monsanto, Dupont, Dow Chemical and
Pepsico
ConAgra (No. 9): Lightlife
Kellogg (No. 14): Kashi, Morningstar Farms/Natural Touch
Coca-Cola (No. 15): Odwalla
Cargill (No. 19): French Meadow
M & M Mars (No. 21): Seeds of Change
Hershey Foods (No. 23): Dagoba

There are a couple of companies on that list whose business practices I don't
support philosophically, and knowing the ownership of the brands helps me make
better-informed buying decisions. – Now you can too.

http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/thestew/2007/07/who-ownsorgani.
html#more
"The Stew" TheChicagoTribune.com Posted by Robin Mather Jenkins

organic1I've been hearing a lot of muttering about "big organics" -- that's usually code for
Wal-Mart -- and "Chinese organics" -- usually used as a short-form expression to
mean the opposite of locally grown organics.

What I've not been hearing much about is the corporate ownership of many
familiar American organic brands. So I was fascinated to see Michigan State
University Assistant Professor Phil Howard's chart of organics ownership.
Howard is in the department of community, agriculture, recreation and resource
studies.

Until 2005, Heinz appears to have had the most holdings. The 24th largest food
processor, Heinz has a stake in Hain Celestial Group, the 85th largest food
processor. Hain Celestial, in turn, owns the following brands: Millina's Finest,
Fruitti di Bosca, Walnut Acres, Mountain Sun, ShariAnn's, Tofu Town, Westbrae,
Bearitos, Westsoy, Little Bear, Celestial Seasonings, Imagine/Rice Dream/Soy
Dream, Breadshop, Casbah, Health Valley, Arrowhead Mills, DeBole's, Garden
of Eatin', Spectrum Organics, Nile Spice and Earth's Best. According to research
by Paul Glover and Carole Resnick of the Greenstar Food Co-op in Ithaca, N.Y.,
Hain's largest investors include Philip Morris, Monsanto, Citigroup, Exxon-Mobil,
Wal-Mart and Lockheed Martin.

Here are the owners of the other brands Howard studied:

The number in parentheses is the company's rank in North American food sales.

Kraft (No. 2): Boca Foods, Back to Nature. Kraft is owned by Phillip Morris.
Pepsi (No. 3): Naked Juice
Dean Foods (No. 6): Alta Dena, Horizon, The Organic Cow of Vermont. Glover
and Resnick say that Dean Foods main investors include Microsoft, General
Electric, Citigroup, Pfizer, Philip Morris, Exxon-Mobil, Coca Cola, Wal-Mart,
PepsiCo and Home Depot
General Mills (No. 7): Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen. Glover and Resnick report
that General Mills' stockholders include Philip Morris, Exxon-Mobil, General
Electric, Chevron, Nike, McDonald's, Monsanto, Dupont, Dow Chemical and
Pepsico
ConAgra (No. 9): Lightlife
Kellogg (No. 14): Kashi, Morningstar Farms/Natural Touch
Coca-Cola (No. 15): Odwalla
Cargill (No. 19): French Meadow
M & M Mars (No. 21): Seeds of Change
Hershey Foods (No. 23): Dagoba

There are a couple of companies on that list whose business practices I don't
support philosophically, and knowing the ownership of the brands helps me make
better-informed buying decisions. – Now you can too.

http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/thestew/2007/07/who-ownsorgani.
html#more
"The Stew" TheChicagoTribune.com Posted by Robin Mather Jenkins