KeHE Distributors LLC has signed an exclusive partnership with Rodale Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to growing regenerative organic agriculture through rigorous research, farmer training and education. The collaboration aims to jointly support the advancement of organic farming and regenerative practices and products in the food industry.
“We are extremely excited about our partnership with KeHE,” said Annie Brown, VP of development at Kutztown, Pa.-based Rodale Institute. “As like-minded market innovators, we are joining forces to continuously improve organic and regenerative organic farming practices and advance new learnings from the labs and farms to exciting new products for retailers and consumers.”
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“Natural, organic, fresh and specialty food sales continue to outpace traditional grocery items, and this is fueled by consumer demand for healthier and more sustainably produced food,” added Amy Kirtland, EVP, innovation and growth at Naperville, Ill.-based KeHE. “This partnership allows us to continue to support best-in-class organic farming practices while providing customers with superior products — it’s a win/win for all, and we are extremely excited about working together.”
Rodale Institute is a co-creator of the Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) program, which prohibits toxic synthetic chemicals and GMOs and focuses on soil health. Regenerative organic certification adds animal welfare and social fairness to its core certification criteria. The organization’s decades of research have also helped prove that organic systems are more resistant to extreme weather, use 45% less non-renewable energy and generate 40% fewer carbon emissions. Further, a recent analysis from the Rodale Institute found that on average, organically produced foods contain 25% more nutrients than non-organically produced products.
A Certified B Corporation with more than 6,800 employee-owners, KeHE is the largest distributor of natural and organic, specialty, and fresh products to more than 30,000 natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers, and other specialty products retailers throughout North America.