Colorado—FoodMaven is partnering with The Annex by Ardent Mills to sell The Annex’s transitional wheat flour to FoodMaven’s foodservice customers, according to a press release. The flour supports farmers as they convert their wheat crop to certified organic, easing the financial implications of transitioning and enabling them to deliver on the growing consumer demand for organic options.
Transitional wheat is not organic, but it is grown using organic farming practices required by the USDA and other governing agencies. It can be certified organic after three years of being grown in this manner.
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The partnership builds on Ardent Mills’ Organic Initiative, which had the goal of doubling harvested organic wheat acres between 2016 and 2019 by assisting farmers who are interested in organic production or adding organic production to their farms. Since 2016, Ardent Mills has expanded from two organic milling locations to ten, and their organic sales have increased six-fold. Key to the success of the Initiative is the company’s Transitional Certification Assistance Program, which offers farmers education, support, and assistance as they transition to certified organic crops. The farmers can sell their transitional wheat to Ardent Mills. The partnership with FoodMaven will allow Ardent Mills to expand the reach of their program by increasing awareness and distribution of transitional wheat into more foodservice operations.
“This product has a lot of potential to help wheat farmers who want to transition their operations to organic but are deterred by the upfront investment required,” said Ben Deda, CEO of FoodMaven.
“The relationship between Ardent Mills and FoodMaven is mutually beneficial in that it not only supports farmers and consumer choice, but also delivers on Ardent Mills’ vision of developing innovative and nutritious grain-based solutions,” said Angie Goldberg, Chief Growth Officer for Ardent Mills. “FoodMaven’s philosophy and distribution model are the ideal fit for this unique ingredient and provide the missing link in giving broad access to restaurants, university dining programs and other foodservice outlets.”