|MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — As demand for non-GMO food rises, Cargill has for the first time taken the step to gain Non-GMO Project Verification for three of its food ingredients.
Cargill’s erythritol, cane sugar and high oleic sunflower oil are now Non-GMO Project Verified and commercially available. Cargill took this action to help food and beverage manufacturers, and foodservice operators meet the growing demand for non-GMO products and satisfy consumers’ preferences.
Annual sales of Non-GMO Project Verified products have increased from $348.8 million in 2010 to more than $19 billion as of March 2016. According to Packaged Facts, demand for non-GMO products is expected to grow 12 percent annually through 2018. With nearly 2,800 Non-GMO Project Verified brands sourcing ingredients to comply with the standard, food and beverage industry demand is outpacing supply.
“Consumer demand for non-GMO food and beverages is growing, and Cargill is responding,” said Mike Wagner, Managing Director for Cargill Starches and Sweeteners North America. “We’re delighted to work with the Non-GMO Project, the leading verifier of non-GMO products in the United States. Their distinctive trademark is the most recognized symbol for non-GMO products in the country.”
Collaboration with Cargill, one of the largest food companies in the world, is an opportunity to increase the availability of non-GMO foods to consumers, according to Megan Westgate, Executive Director and founder of the Non-GMO Project.
“The Non-GMO Project’s mission is to preserve and build sources of non-GMO products, educate consumers, and provide verified non-GMO choices,” said Westgate. “Achieving this mission requires participation by companies of all sizes, including supply-chain leaders like Cargill that can provide large-scale availability of non-GMO food ingredients.”
To meet demand, many of the country’s leading food manufacturers and food-service operators have asked Cargill to help them navigate the dynamic consumer, supply-chain and manufacturing issues related to producing non-GMO products. Scaling production and transitioning entire supply chains are some of the most complex issues facing the food industry. Cargill’s commitment to verification of these ingredients, and others expected in the future, should have significant impact on the available non-GMO verified ingredient supply for consumer packaged goods, and increase the acreage dedicated to non-GMO agriculture in North America.
“We hope that Non-GMO Project Verification for these three Cargill products, and likely more to come, will continue to expand the availability of non-GMO foods for the millions of consumers who seek them,” Westgate said.