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Norway, Iowa (November 19, 2008) — Expanding a midday meal program in India is just the latest example of how Frontier Natural Products Co-op™ is using its Well Earth® global souring program to improve the lives of impoverished communities around the world. Frontier has partnered with Akshaya Patra, a charitable program that feeds a nutritious lunch to more than 1 million children every day as they attend school, which has reduced the dropout rate by half to less than 10 percent in three regions and less than 3 percent in two other regions. In addition, Frontier just purchased a food-delivery truck for Akshaya Patra that helps transport the meals to remote schools in the south-central region of the country.
In June, Frontier donated $30,000 in conjunction with Well Earth® to fund an organic training program for 750 farmers in the state of Kerala in southwestern India. Frontier Vice President of Sustainability Kathy Larson and Kai Stark, Frontier's Organic Spice Commodity Manager, will travel to that region during the first week of December to observe the training classes and meet with the farmers to evaluate the programs’ success. As part of the Well Earth certification process, Larson and Stark will also travel to Sri Lanka, where they’ll meet with growers to inspect production facilities and fields of organic cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, and white pepper.
Well Earth is a proactive program Frontier designed to find and develop ethical and sustainable sources of high-quality products. “We implemented Well Earth certification for producers and growers in late 2006 with the goal of promoting the sustainable production of natural and organic products and creating long-term, open and honest partnerships built on sound social and environmental principles,” Ms. Larson explains.
Today, Well Earth ingredients represent 9 percent of total commodity purchases at Frontier and that percentage continues to grow. Six certified suppliers are in India, Australia, Guatemala, Germany, and the state of Washington in the United States. Organic ingredients produced by Well Earth® certified growers include black pepper, vanilla beans and extracts, fenugreek, cayenne, cardamom, parsley, sandalwood, peppermint, spearmint, and turmeric.
“We work with suppliers to help them meet the strict guidelines of our Well Earth® sourcing program, so we can convert as many farmers and growers around the world to ethical and sustainable agricultural practices,” Mr. Stark notes. “They receive greater premiums for their commodities, which they invest back into improving the quality of their products, their community infrastructures and their standard of living. It’s a program consumers can feel good about contributing to when they purchase Well Earth products.”
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Frontier Natural Products Co-op(TM)
Founded in 1976 and based in Norway, Iowa, Frontier Natural Products Co-op(TM) offers a full line of natural and organic products under the Frontier, Simply Organic®, Aura Cacia® and Aura Cacia Organics® brands. Products include culinary herbs, spices and baking flavors; bulk herbs and spices; and natural and organic aromatherapy products. Frontier's goal is to provide consumers with the highest-quality organic and natural products while supporting and promoting social and environmental responsibility. For more information, visit Frontier's website at www.frontiercoop.com.