General Mills to double organic sourcing by 2019

oats Oats. Photo: Thinkstock

By Jade Markus
OrganicBiz staff

General Mills plans to double its organic acreage sourcing by 2019, in an effort to meet demand growth.

The U.S. food company will have 250,000 organic acres by 2019, compared with 120,000 in 2015 — a year ahead of its previous target.

“It’s a growing part of the business,” said Bridget Christenson, spokesperson for General Mills.

To support that we need more ingredients coming from organic acreage. – Bridget Christenson, General Mills

The company anticipates net sales in natural and organic will reach $1 billion by 2019, and that the organic sector will create double-digit industry sales growth throughout the next five years.

“To support that we need more ingredients coming from organic acreage,” Christenson said.

She added that she doesn’t have details about the products grown on those organic acres, but the company will be sourcing a broad basket of ingredients.

The company sources products from a mix of locations, including Canada.

Christenson was unable to provide details on the number of acres sourced from Canada, but General Mills has made a $50,000 investment in the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative, a Canadian partnership that works to increase the quantity and quality of organic field crops.

Organic sourcing isn’t new to the company, Christenson said.

General Mills has been in the organic business for 16 years, but organic acreage has increased by 120 per cent since 2009.

The company is now among the top five organic ingredient purchasers in the North American packaged food sector.