The Journey to Organic.

It’s been a work in progress, but we finally did it: Top Seedz is now organic! From the very beginning, my goal has been to bring the best product to our customers. And by “best” I mean good for you and good for the earth, but I knew this journey wouldn’t be easy. On the way to becoming officially certified as organic, there are a lot of specifics that need addressing. You could call them hurdles, but we prefer to see each step that we took along the way as an opportunity to grow and learn.


What does “organic” really mean?
To be what is considered without-a-doubt organic, your product needs to have the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) logo. Without it, there’s no guarantee that the product is what it says. Getting this logo is like an adult scout badge—you have to do a lot to get it, but once you’ve got it, you get to wear it proudly! Having this logo means that the ingredients of the food have been grown with minimal use of pesticides, fertilizers and additives.

Now, we know it’s become a hot topic at the grocery store. At one point in the past few years, you’ve likely found yourself among the produce feeling completely paralyzed by the decision to buy…say…the organic grapes or (gasp!) the regular grapes. And to be frank, no choice is a bad choice—there are pros and cons to both. Here’s a snapshot of what the word on the street is about both:

Non-Organic

Pros

Cons

Usually cheaper because the methods for farming and growing produce more food per acre

Use of chemicals—pesticides and synthetic fertilizers

Minimal loss due to insect damage

Farmers exposed to these chemicals during application

Shelf life is often longer

Consumers consume these chemicals

 

Chemicals stay in the soil and deplete it of carbon and nutrients


Organic

Pros

Cons

Subjectively superior taste and nutrition

More expensive

More natural farming systems = better for the environment

Farming techniques are more labor intensive

Fewer pesticides means safer for our bodies

 

 

What becoming organic means to us

Going after this “seal of approval” was never something that was about being trendy. Nope. It was about going back to our roots…personal roots. If you grew up knowing a generation who grew their own veggies in their backyard like I did, be it your parents, grandparents, or maybe even a great uncle, that homegrown goodness back then wasn’t “organic,” it was simply “food.” My father loved seeing what he could grow and being a baby boomer growing our own food was more about saving money. I’ve inherited the passion to grow my own veggies, but I spend far too much on fancy gloves and trowels to say I’m doing so to save! The true passion comes in ensuring that they’re grown as naturally as possible because it’s what I feed my family.

As a Mum, I’m always looking at prices of what I buy when shopping for my family. I find it hard to justify spending double for something that is organic vs. non-organic. But, if it’s going to keep us (and the earth) healthier in the long run, it’s a decision that I’m fortunate to be able to make.

So why not organic from the beginning?

Well, the irony is that people love small businesses, but they don’t always love the small business price. Wanting to do good by our consumers, in both the quality of what we offer and the price, we had to time this perfectly with the growth we’ve experienced and a vision for where we want to go. Part of what made this possible was getting big enough to be able to buy enough volume to get the ingredient price down. Interesting fact: The USDA organic certification comes with strict ingredient tracking. We had to implement an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system. Sounds fancy, right? I hope so, because it was a huge project and one of our biggest learning experiences. The best part about this “fancy” system is that it’s something we need to have for future growth, so this will be the kind of hard work that keeps giving.

The cream on the cracker!
Not only are we proud to now offer you an organic product, but we’re thrilled that our products won’t be more expensive. Timing is everything, and we’ve timed this in such a way that we’ve been able to manage our costs. We are always striving to offer you more than we did the day before—we’re not ones to settle! Our journey toward excellence doesn’t stop here. Thanks for being a part of this exciting new chapter for the TopSeedz family and be sure to keep your eye out for our new bling (aka, the USDA logo) coming to packages soon!

Rebecca Brady

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