Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed x Natural Grocers July 7, 2022 by Leah Wolfe
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Themes explored in this section:

  • As the average age of the American farmer increases with each passing year – what do regenerative producers need from retailers to not only survive but thrive and entice a new generation of farmers?
  • What are the conversations going on at Natural Grocers or in the retail space more broadly about the regulatory changes that are coming down the pike regarding sustainability claims?
  • How can brands and retailers communicate sustainability goals and achievements to their customers?
Matt Maier Thousand Hills

When generations of farmers have a model that works for them, it’s really tough to get them to change. Even if that model doesn’t work as well today as it did yesterday, it’s what they know. They have a system that’s paid the bills and they need to survive. There’s some desperation to hang on, in some cases in these conventional agriculture models and it’s difficult to change. There needs to be a catalyst –either financial or generational–that begins to open their eyes to other possibilities of a different ag model.

Basically, we have to ensure that if producers take this risk, we’ll be there to buy their cattle at a price that they will know when the calf hits the ground. And that is partially possible because we have solid customers like Natural Grocers that live up to their word.

Alan Lewis Natural Grocers

People understand that the government’s not gonna protect them. People know that corporate ag and pharma corporations, the food corporations do not have their best interests in mind. So even at the very local level, they’re recapturing control over their food. That’s my hopeful answer about the government holding retailers and food producers and brands accountable–I don’t see that happening, but I do see communities and individuals holding them accountable.

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