An Open Invitation to Kind Bar From Clif Bar
Clif Bar believes going organic is the best move a food company can make for people and the planet. We transitioned to organic in 2003, and think it’s the key to creating a healthier, more just and sustainable food system. Now we’re challenging KIND Bar to join us—to start using organic ingredients. We’ll even help them, our largest competitor, by lending our expertise. Here’s our letter, which appeared March 6, 2019, in The New York Times:
CEO, KIND Snacks (Mars Candy)
New York, NY 10018
We would like to issue a challenge: do a truly kind thing and make an investment in the future of the planet and our children’s children by going organic. To make it easier, we at Clif Bar & Company will help you. We know how strange this offer sounds coming from a competitor, but more than ever we believe that making the world better means making it organic. Just consider what makes organic food and farming so good:
- Reduced pesticide residues in food
- Farmers, farmworkers and rural communities exposed to fewer harmful pesticides
- Far fewer synthetic fertilizers polluting soil and water
- Organic foods are non-GMO
- Organic farms are more profitable than conventional farms
- Many more jobs created compared to conventional food production
- Fights climate change by storing more carbon in the soil
Going organic isn’t easy, we know. But in 2003, we broke with conventional business wisdom and decided to take what initially seemed to be a huge risk. The investment required more people, time and money. Despite those challenges, this year we celebrated the purchase of our billionth pound of organic ingredients and continue our relentless quest to move from our current 76% organic ingredients to 100%.
So much more still needs to be done. Despite our success, organic food represents only about 5% of retail food sales in the U.S. It’s become a mission for us to champion the power of organic and move that needle, and not by a little. That’s why we’re also the largest private funder of organic research in the country and why we’re issuing this challenge—we can’t do it alone.
If Clif Bar and KIND—the two largest nutrition bar companies in the country—joined hands, the impact would be that much more powerful. And if we then got RXBAR (Kellogg’s), LÄRABAR (General Mills), and all the other non-organic brands to go organic, the benefits to people and planet would be exponential. Maybe a move to organic would even inspire your part-owner Mars to take its entire line of candy organic. Stranger things have happened.
Let’s raise the bar together for people and the planet. Let’s lay the foundation for a healthier, more just and sustainable food system. Since we are food companies, going organic might be the most powerful decision we can make.
If you commit to this challenge, we will share our expertise, including all the things we have learned about going organic. Think of it as “Open Source Organic.”
To sweeten the deal, we will even throw in 10 tons of organic ingredients.
Are you in?
Gary Erickson & Kit Crawford
Founder and co-CEOs
Clif Bar & Company, a family- and employee-owned company