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Walnut Acres convenes summit to explore growth of organic foods & beverages
Nov 26, 2001

Walnut Acres, America's original certified
food brand, convened a panel of leaders today from
the worlds of research, restaurants and the supermarket industry
to explore the growth of a green industry: organic foods and beverages.

"Organic foods have grown more than 20 percent per year for
the past decade - ten times the growth of conventional foods -
as consumers seek ways to improve their overall health. Americans
believe organic foods and beverages help them do so, and they're
better for the environment," noted Mark S. Rodriguez, CEO
of Acirca, Inc., makers of Walnut Acres certified organic
foods and beverages. "The dynamic growth of organic foods
and beverages is taking place everywhere Americans make choices
about what they eat, whether it be at food retailers or restaurants
across the country."

As the country's first organic food brand, Walnut Acres is taking
a leading role in helping to educate consumers about the benefits
of certified organic foods and beverages. Rodriguez noted
the company is committed to developing great tasting, healthy
certified organic products - currently featuring ready-to-serve
soups, salsas, pasta sauces and juices - that meet today's contemporary
need for convenience. The summit was the first of its kind in
New York to provide insights into the evolution of the organic

Panelists speaking at the event today included: Michael Romano,
executive chef and partner, Union Square Café; Cheryl Palmer,
president, The Food Emporium; and Annie Weber, vice president,
Roper Starch International, Inc. Highlights of the panel discussion
will be posted in the "News Releases"
section on Walnut Acres' website: www.walnutacres.com
as well as www.acirca.com.

Also at the event, Rodriguez announced a new partnership for Acirca
and Walnut Acres with Share Our Strength, one of the nation's
leading anti-hunger/anti-poverty organizations, to help the 31
million Americans who suffer from persistent hunger and food insecurity.
The company has committed to donate a portion of proceeds from
the sale of every Walnut Acres certified organic product
to the organization, anticipated to be $500,000 over the next
five years.

Walnut Acres also unveiled a new consumer brochure, "A Guide
to Certified Organic Foods and Beverages,"designed
to provide a simple yet concise overview on the benefits of certified
foods. Topics covered in the brochure include: why
consumers should choose certified organic foods; the health
and environmental benefits of certified organic foods;
and demystifying the meaning of organic food and beverage labels.
The complimentary brochure is being distributed at sampling events
and is available to consumers who request it via email at the
"Contact Us" section at www.walnutacres.com.

Established in 1946, Walnut Acres is America's original organic
food brand and is owned by New Rochelle, N.Y.-based Acirca, Inc.,
makers of fine certified organic foods and beverages. The
name Acirca is inspired by the phrase "a circle of life"
and reflects the company's commitment to the development of products
that help consumers obtain better health and are good for the
environment. Acirca is a privately held company owned collectively
by company employees and independent investors. The company strives
to bring convenience in packaged certified organic foods
to health-conscious consumers wherever they shop.

Media Contacts:
Beth Corwin, PT&Co. (212) 229-0500
Michael Neuwirth, Acirca (914) 380-8020

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Did Walnut Acres used to make other products?
Yes. However, to focus on producing only certified organic foods and beverages and to make them more widely available, the...

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