In an effort to support ecologically safe farming, sustainable retailing and hunger relief, The Giant Co. has formed a partnership with Rodale Institute, which develops regenerative organic agriculture solutions.
“Through education, research and training, Rodale Institute is quite clearly leading the charge to transform farming for the better, and we’re incredibly fortunate to have this resource just two hours from our home office,” noted Giant Co. President Nicholas Bertram. “Their important work complements our other environmental initiatives, including offsetting our carbon footprint, creating pollinator habitats, and reducing food waste. By partnering with Rodale Institute, the pioneers of organic farming, we are able to support sustainable efforts from the farm to our stores and ultimately to our customers’ tables.”
Rodale operates a 333-acre experimental farm, where it conducts research into regenerative organic agriculture, along with farmer training and education opportunities. The Giant Co. will support three key Rodale initiatives addressing farm consulting, farmer training and research:
- Rodale’s Organic Crop Consulting Services, which support farmers seeking to transition to organic through one-on-one mentorship with the institute’s trained agronomists.
- Rodale Institute Farmer Training program (RIFT), an on-site internship that trains beginning farmers for a career in regenerative organic agriculture and supports the institute’s farm share program, mobile pop-up markets and farmers’ markets.
- An ongoing research study connecting healthy soil with human health, with the goal of healing people and the Earth by increasing organic acres, training new organic farmers and putting science behind organic agriculture.
“Rodale Institute is proud to have a retail partner in The Giant Co., who provides food for so many in our home state,” said Jeff Moyer, CEO of the Kutztown, Pennsylvania-based nonprofit. “Despite the organic food market reaching $55 billion last year, only 1% of U.S. cropland is currently organic. Now more than ever, it’s critical that food retailers, farmers and consumers join together to advocate for the food system they want to see — one that heals both people and the planet. The support of a retailer like The Giant Co. will allow Rodale Institute to continue our research, farmer training, consulting and education initiatives to grow the organic movement and build an organic future for all.”
“Agriculture grows when we produce what consumers want,” observed Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Pennsylvania is a national leader in organic sales, and we are investing in organic research at Rodale and in a new PA Preferred Organic program. These targeted investments grow opportunities for consumers to buy what they want and farmers and grocers to earn more. And investing in regenerative farming improves our soil and water so we can keep growing in the future. With this partnership, The Giant Co. and Rodale Institute are cultivating that growth and joining us in promoting a healthier, greener Pennsylvania economy.”
On March 1, The Giant Co. will roll out the Healing the Planet campaign backing organizations focused on environmentally friendly initiatives. Along with Rodale, customers at Giant, Martin’s and Giant Heirloom Market stores also can contribute to San Francisco-based Planet Bee Foundation and Greensburg-based Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful when shopping by rounding up the dollar amount on their purchases at checkout.
Based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, The Giant Co. is an omnichannel retailer serving millions of customers across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. It has more than 33,000 associates supporting nearly 190 stores, 132 pharmacies, 105 fuel stations, and 125-plus online pickup hubs and grocery delivery service across hundreds of ZIP codes. The Giant Co. is a company of Ahold Delhaize USA, No. 11 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.