Pennsylvania-based Giant Co. grocery stores has partnered with the Rodale Institute in a move designed to support ecologically safe farming. The Rodale Institute, located in Kutztown, is known for its regenerative organic agriculture solutions. The 333-acre farm researches innovative agriculture methods and provides training and education for farmers ready to transition to organic practices. Giant Co.’s support will help Rodale expand the training program, its organic crop consulting services and research to advance organic farming science, especially when it comes to the connection between healthy soil and human health.
“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,” said 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” Bertram commented.
The partnership is off to a great start, with Giant Co. donating $1.2 million to Rodale’s work. Consumers can get in on the support as well. Giant Co.’s new Healing the Planet initiative allows customers at Giant, Martin’s and Giant Heirloom Market stores to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar, all of which will go directly to the Rodale Institute and other environmentally-friendly organizations such as the Planet Bee Foundation and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.
“Rodale Institute is proud to have a retail partner in The Giant Co., who provides food for so many in our home state,” said Rodale CEO Jeff Moyer. “Despite the organic food market reaching $55 billion last year, only 1 percent 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…build an organic future for all” Moyer furthered.
Additionally, Giant Co. has expanded the availability of an app called Flashfood, which reduces food waste. Their stores also used the HowGood rating system so customers could gauge the sustainability of each product as they shop too.
“Agriculture grows when we produce what consumers want,” said Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Pennsylvania is a national leader in organic sales, and [the organic research at Rodale] grows 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.”