Horizon Organic 2014 Hope Scholarships Winners Announced

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In 2007, Horizon Organic became the first national organic dairy brand to offer scholarships for the next generation of organic leaders, with the launch of its Horizon Organic Producer Education (HOPE) Scholarship program. The HOPE scholarship program aims to encourage young people to enter the field of organic agriculture.

Last week, a committee of organic industry leaders, including members of the National Organic Standards Board, Northeast Organic Farming Association and Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, awarded $2,500 each to four children and grandchildren of Horizon’s nearly 700 family farmers. Each of the recipients proved passionate about the future of the organic industry and demonstrated a keen interest in educating people on the importance of organic farming.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients of our 2014 HOPE scholarship:

  • Callie Brodt (Ferndale, Calif.), age 20, is inspired by her grandfather, Horizon farmer Jim Walker of Walker Dairy. She heads into her junior year at Chico State University, where she will be helping the university’s dairy program research organic feed techniques using a system that produces organic, sprouted fodder in only six days.
  • Philip Fagundes (Merced, Calif.), age 20, is the son of Horizon farmer Ralph Fagundes, who owns and operates Fagundes Brothers Dairy with his brothers in Atwater, Calif. Philip. “I want to use my research skills to develop better methods of organic farming and educate people on why organic is an important part of the dairy world,” Philip said. Philip plans to graduate in spring 2015 from California State University, Fresno with a degree in Agricultural Business.
  • Ashlie Hardy (Farmington, Maine), age 20, is the daughter of Horizon farmers Henry and Teresa Hardy of Hardy Farm. “By continuing my organic education, I will be able to contribute to organic agriculture and take part in the hands-on, active part of farming,” Ashlie said. Ashlie attends McGill University in Quebec, Canada, where she is pursuing a degree in Farm Management and Technology.
  • Sierra Knight (Lisbon, N.Y.), age 20, is the daughter of Horizon farmer Bradley Knight of Knight’s Meadow View Farm. “The health of a herd is crucial to the success of any farm operation, including organic farms,” Sierra said. Sierra is attending The State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam, where she is majoring in biology, her first step toward her goal of becoming a veterinarian.
Happy National Ice Cream Month!

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Lucky for us, in 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month!

After a long summer day, nothing tastes better than a refreshing frozen treat and this Silk recipe delivers the perfect dairy-free pairing of creamy vanilla with a hint of almond (or coconut).

Ready to cool off? Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Silk Original or Vanilla soy, almond or coconutmilk
  • 2 cups Silk Original or French Vanilla Creamer
  • 1/2 cup honey, agave or sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch

Special tools: ice cream maker

Preparation:

1. Place Silk and Silk Creamer in a medium saucepan and whisk in honey, agave or sugar.

2. Slice vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and use the tip of a knife to scrape the seeds from the bean into the saucepan. Add bean pod as well.

3. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and remove about 1/4 cup from the pan and whisk it together with the arrowroot in a small bowl. Whisk the arrowroot mixture back into the pan, cover and let the mixture infuse for 20 minutes.

5. Cool completely and process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

NOTE: If you don’t have a vanilla bean, add 2 tsp vanilla extract when removing mixture from heat. You may also add fresh fruit or any other flavorings you desire.

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And don’t worry… if you don’t have an ice cream maker handy, head over to your local TCBY. They have some of the best dairy-free frozen desserts in a variety of flavors, including: Silk Coconut Milk, Vanilla Almond and Chocolate Almond.

WhiteWave Releases First Corporate Social Responsibility Report

ImageAt WhiteWave, we’re about much more than just making great tasting products. We want to change the way the world eats for the better. As part of this purpose, we recognize that how we make our products is just as important as what we make, so we’re committed to growing our business in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible.

Today marks an important milestone in this journey as we announce the release of our first Corporate Social Responsibility Report. The report outlines our vision and our progress across the following three key areas:

  • Making Better Products: This is all about our commitment to quality, food safety, responsible sourcing, sustainable agriculture, transparent labeling, third-party assurances and sustainable packaging
  • Reducing Our Footprint: This area highlights our environmental achievements to date, including resource conservation, renewable energy and water conservation
  • Creating a Culture of Caring: The focus here is our efforts around employee wellness, philanthropy and community engagement

We firmly believe that our employees, consumers and all of the partners who help us make, distribute and sell our products deserve to know what’s in our food and how it’s produced. This report reinforces our commitment to that transparency and builds on our history and heritage as a company that conducts business in a way that is good for people and the planet.

We hope you find the report informative and certainly welcome your feedback and questions. The future is bright for WhiteWave, and we look forward to continuing to share updates with you on our progress.

At WhiteWave, Everyday is Cow Appreciation Day

cowsgrazingOur Horizon Organic family spans the nation with nearly 700 family farms and compassionate animal care is one of the key principles of our dairy farming practices. The farmers who produce Horizon milk keep their cows healthy the organic way with attentive daily care, fresh air and high quality pasture.

For example, certified organic in 1998, our company owned Chesapeake Bay farm has around 500 milking cows. Our farming practices in Maryland and within our local farming communities across the nation promote the belief that animal care and welfare should be holistic, preventive, and natural. We feel a moral obligation to care for our animals and to treat them humanely and with respect.

We believe that the best way to raise healthy cows is to provide them with pasture, high-forage diets, low-stress birthing, freedom of movement, and comfortable and clean living conditions. Our farms use low-stress livestock handling practices that focus both on the physical and the mental well-being of our animals, ensuring they are always treated with respect. We work to make sure that our cows are happy cows.

For more information on Horizon Organic’s animal care and welfare practices and pasture management techniques, check out our Horizon Organic Standards of Care.

WhiteWave’s Dallas Plant Earns LEED Certification

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We’re excited to announce that our Dallas plant recently earned U.S. Green Building Council LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for New Construction.

LEED certification is considered the foremost standard for the design, construction and operation of green buildings and though our Broomfield headquarters building is already LEED certified, this is the first WhiteWave plant to achieve certification.

It’s an accomplishment that exemplifies our focus and dedication to our Mission and Values, in particular, the “Integrity to Produce Food Responsibly.”  It helps improve the environmental profile of our manufacturing process, which in turn helps us offer consumers more sustainable food choices.

Our 325,000 sq. foot Dallas facility produces Silk soymilk, almondmilk and coconutmilk, Horizon Organic milk and International Delight flavored coffee creamers.  Some of the “green” features of this plant include:

  • Nearly 90% of all demolition and construction waste associated with the project was diverted from landfills.
  • Landscaping that requires no irrigation
  • Fixtures that use 30% less water
  • 100% of wood-based building materials certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  • Nearly half of all building materials manufactured within 500 miles of the site
  • Use of materials and design techniques that facilitate solar reflectivity, helping to address “heat island” challenges associated with Dallas’ urban development. According to the U.S. EPA, the annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8–5.4°F warmer than its surroundings, increasing summertime peak energy demand, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and heat-related illness.

We’re proud of this achievement and believe that the positive and long-lasting impact of LEED certification on the environment is well worth the additional cost and effort during the construction process.

 

More consumers want to know what’s in their food – Consumer Reports

A recent Consumer Reports survey demonstrated that more than ever, consumers want to know exactly what’s in their food.

The nationally-representative phone survey conducted in April 2014, showed that U.S. consumers take into account a range of environmental, safety and social concerns when purchasing food, including supporting local farmers (92%), labeling GMO foods (92%), protecting the environment from chemicals (89%), reducing exposure to pesticides (87%), fair conditions for workers (86%) good living conditions for animals (80%) and reducing antibiotic use in food (78%).

As a food company, we know it’s our responsibility to make the ingredients in our products simple, accessible and easy to understand. That’s why Silk is a proud leading supporter of initiatives like Just Label It, a national initiative encouraging the clear and accurate labeling of foods containing GMOs, and the Non-GMO Project, a nonprofit collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, farmers and consumers dedicated to ensuring the availability and verification of non-GMO foods and beverages.

non-gmo-04NonGMOWe apply the same high non-GMO standards across all of our Silk product lines. That means taking extra time to research our suppliers, and choosing the ones we believe bring the best for our consumers. Being non-GMO takes extra care, but we think it’s a standard well worth fighting for. You also won’t find any high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors or artificial flavors in Silk.

We’ve included some highlights from the Consumer Reports survey below, but you can read it in full here.

Consumers Are Looking for Natural and Locally Produced Food

  • When shopping for food, two-thirds of Americans are checking to see if their food is locally produced; the majority of consumers (59%) are also checking to see if their food is natural.

Environmentally Conscious and Socially Responsible Food a Priority for Most Americans

  • A range of environmental, safety and social concerns are imperative to most US consumers when purchasing food; the vast majority of consumers prioritize supporting local farmers, protecting the environment from chemicals, fair conditions for workers, reducing exposure to pesticides, good living conditions for animals, and reducing antibiotic use in food.

Consumer Mandate for Fair Wage and Working Conditions for Farm Workers

  • Making sure that the workers that produced their food are treated fairly is important to US consumers and most are willing to put their money where their mouth is!

Consumers Want More Stringent Standards for Natural and Organic Labeling on Meat and Poultry

  • The majority of consumers think that the natural or organic label on meat and poultry currently means that no artificial ingredients, growth hormones, genetically modified ingredients, or antibiotics were used; an even greater amount of consumers feel that this labeling should indicate this.

Consumers Demand More Standards for Natural and Organic Labels on Packaged and Processed Foods

  • The majority of consumers think that the natural or organic label on packaged and processed foods currently means that no pesticides, artificial ingredients or chemicals, or genetically modified ingredients were used; an even greater amount of consumers feel that this labeling should indicate this.

Consumers Have High Expectations for Humanely Raised Claims on Eggs, Dairy and Meat

  • While only half of consumers think a humanely raised claim currently means that the animals were raised without cages, a clear majority of consumers (75%) think these claims should mean this.

Consumers Demand Information about Food Origin

  • The overwhelming majority of consumers want food labels to reflect country of origin (92% of consumers) and state of origin (82%). In addition, an outstanding percentage of consumers (90%) want to know if their meat is from outside the US.

Consumer Mandate for Labeling and Strong Federal Safety Standards for Genetically Engineered Food

  • An overwhelming majority of US consumers think that before genetically engineered food can be sold it must be labeled as such and meet government safety standards. Moreover, an outstanding percentage of Americans (92%) demand that the government require that genetically engineered salmon be labeled as such.

 

How Do You Plan to Celebrate National Piña Colada Day?

How about with a Greeña Colada Smoothie?!

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Escape to paradise with this tropical treat— the perfect blend of banana, coconut and pineapple flavors – sure to quench your thirst and refresh your taste buds. And of course we had to add a little baby spinach for pizzazz.

No matter where you are in the world, enjoying a piña (or greeña) colada is a great way to kick back, relax and taste the essence of summer.

So, let’s band together in solidarity and get our greeña colada on!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Silk Unsweetened Original almondmilk
  • 1/2 cup fresh or canned pineapple chunks
  • 1 large banana, frozen
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1-2 drops coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 2 Tbsp protein powder and/or 1 Tbsp ground flax, if desired

Preparation

  • Blend until smooth and green.

 Cheers!

Sip on this festive Silk smoothie this Fourth of July!

The Fourth of July is synonymous with patriotism, fun in the sun and, of course, cookouts with friends and family. As you gather your décor and plan your holiday menus, we thought we’d share this fun red, white and blue Mixed Berry Fruity Fusion smoothie recipe from Silk. This healthy refreshment is sure to kick your cookout routine up a notch!

Smoothie

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup Silk Original or Light Original soymilk
    • 1/2 cup apple juice
    • 1/2 cup raspberries
    • 1/2 cup blueberries
    • 1-3 tsp sugar or honey, to taste

 Preparation

       1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
       2. Strain through a fine mesh strainer (if you don’t like seeds) and chill.

Pressed for time? Just mix 1 cup Silk Original soymilk with 2/3 cup store-bought Berry Smoothie.

Happy Birthday, America – and happy taste buds for you!

A Cause for Celebration

Carton Council of North America InfographicWe are thrilled to announce that our valued partners at the Carton Council recently announced a tremendous milestone in recycling: 50 percent of U.S. households can now recycle cartons through curbside and other local recycling programs, thanks to an industry-led effort made possible by the support of countless recycling, packaging, municipal and sustainability stakeholders.

The Carton Council is composed of four leading carton manufacturers, Elopak, SIG Combibloc, Evergreen Packaging and Tetra Pak, as well as an associate member, Weyerhaeuser. Together, and in collaboration with industry partners like WhiteWave, they work to deliver long-term solutions in order to divert valuable cartons from the landfill, while building a sustainable infrastructure for carton recycling nationwide.

Thanks in part to this unified effort, carton recycling access has grown a remarkable 177 percent over the last five years – a dramatic increase from just 18 percent in 2009 when the Council was first formed. Since 2009, carton recycling access has been added to more than 36 million homes and is now in 77 of the top 100 U.S. cities. And today, more than 58 million homes in 46 states have access to carton recycling.

In light of the Carton Council’s announcement, WhiteWave president Blaine McPeak emphasized that food and beverage companies, like WhiteWave, have a key role to play in promoting the use of sustainable materials: “There is no question that cartons are a growing packaging solution for many food and beverage products. Because they are an environmentally friendly package, ensuring there is an infrastructure in place for Americans to recycle them is a vital piece to the sustainability puzzle.”

Bike to Work Day Denver!

Image 1On Wednesday, June 25 we topped off our tires and packed away our car keys and transit cards. For this year’s Bike to Work Day in Colorado, we partnered with two stellar organizations to encourage a day of environmentally-friendly transportation. In support of our on-going partnership with B-Cycle and nonprofit organization, 36 Commuting Solutions, whose mission is to enhance the mobility of commuters, we staffed the event’s mobile breakfast stations and passed out Horizon Organic chocolate and vanilla milk along with a few Silk products to help bikers gear up for their commute.

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And no, we didn’t just hand out snacks – check out this article in the Broomfield Enterprise featuring our very own, Janet McSmith, who makes every day Bike to Work Day!