SOLANA BEACH, Calif., Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Kashi introduced Chewy Nut Butter Bars – the second line of products in its growing Certified Transitional portfolio – which joins Dark Cocoa Karma Shredded Wheat Biscuits, the company's best-performing cereal innovation in over five years. These deliciously chewy bars are made with real nut butters, whole grains and coconut oil, offering flavor packed, gluten-free nourishment in four tasty flavors: Almond Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Trail Mix, Salted Chocolate Chunk and Coconut Cashew Macaroon.
"We're thrilled to announce this addition to our Certified Transitional portfolio," said David Denholm, CEO at Kashi. "Chewy Nut Butter Bars represent another delicious way for consumers to join us on our mission to increase the amount of organic farmland in the US, one box at a time."
Building Bridges to the Organic Market
Despite double-digit growth in consumer demand for organic foods every year since the 1990s, organic acreage has not kept up – according to the USDA, less than one percent of US farmland is certified organic. While farmers increasingly seek to recognize the benefits of certification, converting fields from conventional farming methods to organic takes at least three years and is no small feat. During the three-year transition, farmers use organic practices but aren't paid organic prices.
Inspired to help farmers meet rising demand for organics, Kashi in 2016 partnered with leading organic certifier Quality Assurance International (QAI) to create Certified Transitional, a protocol which creates a new way for farmers to command slightly higher prices for their crops in transition during the three-year period – giving them the financial assurance needed to make the switch from conventional to organic. QAI led the development of the label, with support from agricultural suppliers, a global environmental NGO, organic experts, farmers, retailers, distributors and food brands.
QAI owns and manages the Certified Transitional protocol, which is available for any crop and brand that sources agricultural ingredients, including food and beverage, dietary supplements, cosmetics, household cleaners and textile products.
Certified Transitional Farmland More Than Doubles
In 2016, Kashi purchased the first-ever crop of Certified Transitional ingredients – hard red winter wheat – sourced from 860 acres of transitional farmland for use in Dark Cocoa Karma Shredded Wheat Biscuits. After just one year, Kashi's Certified Transitional products now are sourced from over 3,474 acres – more than quadrupling from the previous year – on their way to transitioning from conventional to organic. Today's launch of Chewy Nut Butter Bars builds on this momentum by showcasing other transitional ingredients, including almonds, dates and sorghum. In total, there now are 10 farms supplying Certified Transitional ingredients located in California, Louisiana, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming.
By purchasing Certified Transitional products such as Chewy Nut Butter Bars and Dark Cocoa Karma Shredded Wheat Biscuits, consumers can play a role in helping support farmers transition their land to organic, one box at a time. Each purchase contributes to a growing marketplace that recognizes the investment farmers make while transitioning to organic practices.
"As a farmer, I think of the decision to switch to organic as an equation – with dozens of variables that must be considered – such as the projected price of organic products, consumer demand, changing environmental conditions, and more," said Richard Gemperle, president at Edelweiss Nut Company, who supplied almonds for the new Chewy Nut Butter Bars. "For me, Certified Transitional changed the equation in favor of making the transition to organic, giving me a way to reap immediate economic benefits."
Moving Toward More Organics
"Kashi's first Certified Transitional product, Dark Cocoa Karma Shredded Wheat Biscuits, is our best-performing cereal innovation in over five years," said CEO David Denholm. "The addition of Chewy Nut Butter Bars to our Certified Transitional portfolio builds on this progress and supports efforts to increase organic farmland in the U.S. As demand for organics continues to grow, we hope this success will encourage other brands to explore Certified Transitional sourcing."
Kashi, along with QAI, invites anyone interested – from farmers to consumers – to learn more about Certified Transitional and participate in the program.
New Kashi Chewy Nut Butter Bars are available at select grocers and natural food retailers nationwide now. For more information, visit http://www.Kashi.com/Transitional
Any eligible farmer growing any crop can explore the Certified Transitional protocol. Please contact QAI at [email protected] for more information.
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About Kashi Company Kashi believes eating more plants is the catalyst for a healthier life. A natural lifestyle pioneer since 1984, Kashi produces nutritious plant-based foods including cereals, powders, entrees and snacks with curated ingredients. All Kashi products being made today – including its GOLEAN and Heart to Heart brands - are Non-GMO Project Verified and Kashi is proud to partner with QAI on the industry's first Certified Transitional program, which recognizes crops in transition from conventional to organic. Kashi products are available nationwide in the U.S. and Canada. Kashi is based in sunny Solana Beach, Calif. To learn more, please visit Kashi.com, Facebook at www.facebook.com/Kashi, Twitter at https://twitter.com/Kashifoods, Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/kashi/ or YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/Kashi.
About QAI (Quality Assurance International) Founded in 1989, QAI is the leading provider of organic certification services verifying organic integrity throughout the supply chain (qai-inc.com). Additional certification services include gluten-free, kosher, natural personal care, and food safety through its parent company NSF International. QAI remains dedicated to the environment, while providing educational outreach to the organic community, customers and consumers. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., the company has grown to include operations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Japan and the European Union.