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Executives from organic and natural food suppliers and a food merchandising manufacturer have formed the Bulk Is Green Council, an advocacy organization with the aim of helping consumers, food manufacturers and grocers discover the environmental and economic advantages of bulk foods and lessen the carbon footprint through reduced packaging.
Founding members of the Little Rock, Ark.-based council are Scott Johnson of Trade Fixtures, Clint Landis of Frontier Natural Products Co-op, Sarah Galusha of the Hain Celestial Group, Morty Cohen of SunRidge Farms and Aaron Anker of GrandyOats.
"With the recent increases in both food and energy costs and the urgent need to reduce the impact of global warming, the Bulk Is Green Council provides an excellent opportunity to share with consumers and retailers alike the economic and environmental benefits of bulk organic and natural foods," said Cohen.
"All of us on the council think a better lifestyle and a better environment go hand in hand," added Galusha. "We are committed to providing products through a sustainable delivery system, and to increasing consumer awareness that bulk foods offer an economical and green choice."
The USDA estimates that packaging contributes at least 8 percent to the retail cost of food, making bulk foods, which are sold without a printed package, a more economical buy. Today, the council notes, almost any food is available in bulk form, and historically such foods, including organic and natural varieties, have cost less than their packaged counterparts, often as much as 50 percent.
Additionally, according to the council, bulk foods greatly reduce deforestation and the use of petrochemicals for the creation of paper, plastic, ink and cardboard packages, thus reducing the impact on landfills, and require less transportation to deliver, as they don't have packaging components that must be produced and transported before being filled, and can be packed more densely to yield more efficient transport.
The council will collect and conduct research relating to those topics on its Web site, www.bulkisgreen.org.