Power grab at the top of the natural foods industry

Power grab at the top of the natural-food industry

by Jon Rappoport

March 6, 2014


From a February 13 article, “Who owns organics now?”, at the Cornucopia Institute:

In 1995 there were 81 independent organic processing companies in the United States. A decade later, Big Food had gobbled up all but 15 of them.”

At Cornucopia, you can view Philip H Howard’s monster chart (updated) depicting the Big Food owners and the companies they’ve bought.


Some of those Big Boy Buyers? Nestle, Coca Cola, Pepsi, M&M Mars, Campbell Soup, ConAgra. These are also companies who put up money to defeat GMO-labeling ballot measures in California and Washington state.

Consider another big buyer. Hain Celestial. Starting in the mid-1990s, they’ve purchased:

Ella’s Kitchen; Earth’s Best, Walnut Acres; ShariAnn’s; Mountain Sun; Millina’s Finest; Frutti di Bosco; Sunspire; MaraNantha; Westbrae; Westsoy; Little Bear; Bearitos; TofuTown; Nile Spice; Blue Print; DeBole’s; Garden of Eatin’; Arrowhead Mills; Breadshop; Health Valley; Casbah; Imagine/Rice; Dream/Soy; Dream; Celestial Seasoning.

This buying spree was aided by investments from HL Heinz and George Soros.

Currently among the top shareholders of Hain Celestial: Goldman Sachs and Blackrock.

Blackrock is the world’s biggest asset manager. In 2009, the US Federal Reserve and the US Treasury Department contracted Blackrock to evaluate “distressed federal assets” worth $130 billion.

From 2010-2013, notorious corporate raider, Carl Icahn, owned 12% of Hain Celestial.

-Nothing personal, it’s just business. We just add companies to our portfolio. We consolidate our position in the industry.-

People used to think the natural-food world was a dedicated mom-and-pop operation. Not anymore.

It’s big fish eating little fish.

And what happens to the food itself, when companies buying other companies becomes the real game in town?

Jon Rappoport

The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com

16 comments on “Power grab at the top of the natural foods industry

  1. Messenger At The Crossroads says:

    What’s the solution then?

    • brad says:

      Here’s one suggestion: as much as you can, eat real (unprocessed) food only, grow and produce some yourself, join a CSA co-op, buy the rest directly from local family farms preferably organic (they are around). It’s small-scale individual choice that will make the difference in the end, in my humble opinion anyway. We need to stop giving our energy, money and support to things we don’t agree with, to whatever extent is possible for each of us. Just a thought.

  2. George Tirebiter says:

    Once these companies go public they become fair game for the asset vampires and often end up losing control to outside investors who aren’t necessarily aligned with the original owners’ goals. The desire to go public usually results from greed. Once public, the main focus becomes the stock price and the number of shares held by investors and company management.

    A good example of this focus was demonstrated by Mr. Conscious Capitalism when he used an alias (Rahodeb)-(http://www.sfgate.com/business/networth/article/Rahodeb-postings-improper-2580548.php) to disparage Wild Oats and to give Whole Foods glowing reports in order to try and drive the OATS stock price down in order to pay less to buy Wild Oats.

    As far as “what happens to the food itself” goes:

    The word ‘natural’ has been so abused by the ‘Natural’ Food Industry, that it is virtually meaningless now; and just because something is ‘certified organic’ doesn’t mean that it is beneficial to the human body.

    The only logical solution is to visualize the words ‘Caveat Emptor’ over the entrance of any ‘Natural Foods’ store and to heed the warning of those words when selecting what to purchase and consume.
    Most of what is sold in these stores is far from that which will build and/or maintain health.

  3. moxaman says:

    As much as possible buy from organic farms and farmers markets, grow your own if so inclined, and eat only GMO free, organic and unprocessed foods when available. This is a sad state of affairs because you know that eventually many of the foods being marketed by these companies will be contaminated with GMO’s, pesticides, and other unwanted chemicals. Monsanto, Dow, and the rest of the biotech industry must be stopped from contaminating organic foodstuffs.

  4. I just hope we get to move to a place with plenty of gardening space. I plan on putting a BIG ORDER into the Ark Institute, and perhaps a few others (like Horizon Herbs, Mountain Rose Herbs, etc.)

    Sorry to say it, folks but, . . . Time to grow your own, starting with knowing where your seeds are coming from. You simply can not trust the commercial markets anymore! You would be foolish to continue so.

    – Rev. Dragon’s Eye

  5. windy says:

    Grow it or know who grew it – it’s the only way to be safe.

  6. I’ve been going to nutritional supplement conferences for 20 years now. When I first started going, all of the booths were manned by old-time herbal health “hippies” and natural health innovators like herbalist Dr. Christopher and others, who would hold court and take time to explain the value of their various natural supplements or natural approaches to health and healing. Educating the public was at least as important as making the sale, and usually more so. Now, those same booths are all manned by nameless faces in identical corporate suits who answer only to corporate policy, and whose only goal is to make the next buck. They are all soulless mouthpieces for the corporate culture they come from. If they don’t think you can spend a million dollars with them, they won’t even give you the time of day. It’s despicable what’s happened. What used to be termed as “the natural health community” is now the natural health industry.

  7. So that is how it is, the rich companies are getting richer while the consumers get consumed until they are left with nothing. I never actually appreciated my mom’s obsessive gardening. At home, she grows papaya, avocado, jack-fruit and banana trees and a bunch of herbs that cures her body pain and also about three more kinds of green leafed vegetables. I am blessed in a way because I get to eat fresh and naturally grown fruits and vegetables almost everyday. I will take this opportunity to learn from her. Let us start planting!

  8. […] (Jon Rappoport) From a February 13 article, “Who owns organics now?”, at the Cornucopia Institute: […]

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