But officially, it’s called Certified Transitional. And it’s a way to support farmers during their three-year journey to organic farming practices.
During the conversion process, Quality Assurance International certifies crops in transition to ensure they are grown using sustainable processes and that the farms avoid genetically modified seeds as well as prohibited conventional synthetic pesticides.
OK. Back up. What is a “transitional” crop?
A “transitional” crop is grown on land that’s in the process of converting from conventional to organic farming practices. After three years of meeting organic standards, farmers can apply for organic certification. Before the three-year mark, any crops grown on the field are considered “transitional” crops and cannot be sold on the organic market.
How does Certified Transitional help increase organic farming?
Through the Certified Transitional initiative, we are helping to create a marketplace to drive more organic farmland. It reduces the uncertainty farmers face and provides them with a market and greater financial security. So the easier it is for them to transition their land, the more likely they’ll be to do it.
How is Kashi supporting this initiative?
We’re supporting farmers in transition to organic practices with a new cereal made with whole-grain wheat from transitional farmland. It’s called Kashi Cocoa Spice cereal, and moving forward, it will always be made with wheat from transitional farms. Thanks to our partnership with QAI and Hesco, it’s the first Certified Transitional product in Canada, and we hope it’s the catalyst to help more farmers to convert their farmland — thus creating more transitional crops.
And who is QAI?
That stands for Quality Assurance International — an independent organization and an accredited organic certification body that leads the development of the transitional certification requirements. QAI worked to develop guidelines for each year of farmers’ three-year transitional period, requirements for processors to separate transitional crops from conventional and organic, and a process for verifying on-the-ground transitional farming practices that convert land to become eligible for organic certification.
Who is Hesco?
Hesco, Inc./Dakota Organic Products is an accredited organic certification organization that purchases, mills, blends and packages high-quality, super clean organic and conventional grains. Kashi worked with it to identify two farmers to supply Certified Transitional grain for our new Kashi Cocoa Spice cereal — the first Certified Transitional product in Canada.
And it’s open to anyone?
Absolutely. It’s an open system where any company can join. Our hope is this will speed the switch to organic farming practices at a much larger scale than Kashi could accomplish alone. We believe that by working together across industries, we will have a much greater impact on the planet and the food system we share.
Sounds great. How do I get my company involved?
Go right on up there to our contact information and shoot us a note. We’d love to hear from you.
Cool! And how do I support this initiative when I’m shopping?
Simply look for the Certified Transitional mark on products. And if you want to see more, encourage your other favourite brands to incorporate transitional crops into their products. It’s one thing brands can do to make the transition a little easier.
Spice Up Your Day
Cocoa Spice* cereal is made with transitional whole-grain wheat — and it always will be. Learn more about the first cereal in Canada to become Certified Transitional.