“W“What can we do better?”
This question is the foundation of the principle of “continuous improvement”—and a question that we, as leaders of the sustainability movement,
must ask ourselves regarding our efforts to be stewards of the earth.
This is exactly what Gil Friend, the founder of Natural Logic and author
of the recently released book, The Truth About Green Business, urges us to do
in this issue’s cover story. Specifically, Friend addresses the issue of waste
PHOTO: LEANDRO CHAVIRA
and offers ways to find and reduce it. I was shocked to
hear that many manufacturers end up wasting 75 percent or more of the resources that are brought into their
facilities. On the other hand, I was also proud to hear
from other organic companies who have developed
“Zero Waste” programs and other eco-initiatives. Being
sustainable doesn’t stop with just the land, it must be implemented into every part of an organic company.
Continuous improvement is also key to developing a
stronger organic program. Recently I had the opportu-
nity to speak with Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, the new deputy secretary of agri-
culture. As discussed in this issue’s Dialogue, Merrigan is working on many
ways to improve support and resources for organic and integrate organic
and sustainable principles throughout the USDA. There is no doubt that
Merrigan will bring some needed changes to the USDA!
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is also working continuously to improve the organic standards. In Managing, Jeff Moyer, chairper-son of the Board, covers all the highlights from the most recent NOSB
meeting this spring, which range from organic personal care to nanotechnology. More than ever, it’s important to better define terminology and operations to protect the integrity of the organic label. Speaking of protecting
the organic label, I also encourage all of you to get involved in the Non-GMO project. With the threat of GMO contamination on the rise, we must
all work together. Companies spearheading this effort are featured in this
issue’s Ingredients column.
Chief Executive Officer Don Meeker
Publisher Stacy Atchison
Advertising Manager Bobby Meeker
Editorial Director Kathryn Schuett
Art Director Craig Van Wechel
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Lastly, continuous improvement can also be applied to your product development, as Julie’s Ice Cream, featured in Enterprise, illustrates. By asking
himself over and over how he could improve processes and never settling
for the answer of “it can’t be done,” founder Tom Gleason has come up
with innovative products that consumers are eating up.
Whether the principle is applied to greening your manufacturing or to
making a better product, continuous improvement is about never forgetting to strive for something better. The biggest detriment to the organic industry would be for it to become stagnant and start thinking “We’ve done
enough.” Instead, we must always ask ourselves, “What can we do better?”
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