Thursday, March 27, 2008

Greenling Wins Another Award (#8)!!

The Austin Business Journal gave out awards this year titled "Going Green Awards" and highlight companies that are leading the way in working towards sustainability. Greenling won in the 'Small Business' category! This is a very exciting award and is exactly what we want to be recognized for. We not only deliver healthy, local, and Organic foods that support the local community and help heal the environment...that's a mouthful...WE ALSO strive to be sustainable in everything we do as a business. In our operations. This can be much more expensive financially than focusing on profit, but focusing on profit can be much more expensive to our planet so we make the sacrifice. Thanks to the judges at Austin Business Journal and to all of our supporters!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The only constant is change

I became very depressed last week when Brooke, our Vegetable Vixen, came into my office and told me she was moving back to Lubbock. It broke my heart. We love her so much here. She said it has been the best job she's ever had, but Zac (We call him Daniel), her husband, was not enjoying his job and all of their family was back in Lubbock and a few other reasons that just led them to believe it was best. It took me a couple of days to forgive her and I choose to believe she will come back some day.

So the whole week I was depressed until I received a note from a vendor that we had been trying to work into our offering, Dishalicious. Elizabeth Winslow said she was interested in combining resources with Greenling and joining the team. We had a great lunch at Austin Java on Sunday to talk about the position and the two companies. I'm so excited to have her coming on board. I think she's going to help take Greenling to the next level and help us help our customers use their newfound freshness and organic goodies. So, a sad day leads to the beginning of a new era.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Go Dance

Some of you may already know that my wife owns the largest dance studio in town. They do all partner dancing, so country, salsa, ballroom, etc. They have been caught in the middle of the whole Urban Wal-Mart battle at Northcross Mall because that is where her studio is located. Long story short is that she had to move out of her old space and into a new space on the other side of the mall so they could demolish her current space.

Well, this weekend she finally moved in and it is amazing! What a cool space. She will be having a Grand Opening party on the 22nd of this month so if you feel like dropping by please do.

Me, I'm a little sore from helping her move furniture, etc., but not nearly as sore and tired as she is. She's running on pure adrenaline right now as she tries to get settled in the new space. Since permitting problems with the city have delayed her move several times she couldn't risk closing the studio every weekend thinking this one would be the one so when they finally moved this weekend, she had a full schedule and didn't even get 1 day to settle in. They had to run classes while moving. What a feat!

So, go check out the new Go Dance in Northcross Mall sometime and take some lessons.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Grain Crisis!

This is going to be a pretty big challenge for the Organic industry and may chase away some people. Grain prices have exploded and are driving prices significantly higher and driving some bakers and producers out of the business. The farmers are going to make a killing, which is always nice, but we may see prices of organic grains and breads jump 100%-150% in the next 6-12 months if nothing is done. Here's an article about it:
Fallout Expected From Super High Grain Prices

The explosion of record high prices on the conventional has pushed the organic sector even higher and the fallout is already happening—organic bakers are pulling out.

“The whole thing is chaos,” said Bob Quinn, who runs the Kamut Association, which is based in Big Sandy MT. “It is so extremely out of control, I don’t know how it is going to play out.” Farmers under contract to plant organic Kamut, a high protein hard red spring wheat, will plant 60,000 acres in Montana and Canada this year.

In trading at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, hard red spring wheat closed at a record $24 a bushel Feb. 27. The asking price for organic hard spring wheat has now soared to between $30 and $36 a bushel.

“Prices like that are sustainable,” said Travis Sitter, a buyer for Hesco in Watertown, SD. He said some organic cattle and dairy farmers can no longer afford the high price of organic soybean and corn meal, and are switching back to conventional. Bakers are already up in arms and planning a March 12 “Crisis” March on Washington, DC where they will meet congressmen and USDA officials.

“Commodity prices for every item we use are out of control and rising faster than we could ever hope to catch them,” said Michael Kalupa, president of the Retail Bakers of America. “If there is not some type of relief, many businesses will fail.” Ben Volk with Dakota Organic Prairie Flour in Harvey, ND said two east coast bakeries that were buying organic flour switched back to conventional.

What worries Ron Schlecht, a buyer for SK Foods International in Fargo, ND, is that expanded spring planting of hard red spring wheat will prevent farmers from growing other crops such as edible beans. “I don’t know if we can get any flax,” he said. He said one wheat processor told him he did not have conventional grain seed for his customers. Schlect and others said that most organic farmers have set aside enough organic seed for this year’s planting. They all expect more acreage to be planted both in the US and Canada.

Lynn Clarkson, who heads Clarkson Grain in Cerro Gordo, IL, blames the burst in commodity prices on ethanol. He said that subsidies totaling 40% on corn and processing have thrown everything else off. “Land values are going up and the biggest hedge funds are dumping funds into the commodities market,” Clarkson said.

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