LOS ANGELES — ED&F Man, a global merchant of cocoa, sugar and coffee, has formed Corigins, a new U.S.-based supplier of high quality, traceable ingredients to the rapidly expanding organic and natural foods sector, the company announced today.
Corigins will have access to ED&F Man's global network of 4,000 employes in 90 countries and will provide ingredients such as certified organic sugar from Costa Rica, Fair Trade and organic cocoa from Ecuador and natural and organic sugars from around the world.
Mirroring the trend started in the specialty coffee industry, Corigins is pioneering the "specialty cocoa" market, which will see the convergence of quality, single origin artisan cocoa with organic and Fair Trade programs.
"Our goal is to expand the organic and natural markets and build long-term relationships with family farmers around the globe," said President Bruce Kirk, who has been involved in the organic sugar industry for nearly 20 years. "We want to ensure that our industry is exemplary of the highest possible standards of quality, integrity and transparency."
Corigins also will support natural foods customers with proprietary blending and formulation services that, until now, have been offered only to the largest mainstream foods manufacturers. These services can speed a natural foods company's time to market, improving both production efficiency and product quality, ED&F Man officials said.
Corigins is simultaneously introducing an integrated tracking system using Internet technologies that will allow food companies to comply with the complex auditing requirements of the U.S., E.U. and Japanese organic programs, as well as the Bioterrorism Act of 2002.
"By automating a paper trail including multiple certificates, lot codes, and inspector reports, we'll make it possible to trace a product all the way from the farm to the table, and back again," Mr. Kirk said. "No other company offers this critical service today."
The U.S. market for organic foods is projected to reach a value of $30.7 billion by 2007, according to analysis by research firm Datamonitor, and is growing more than 20% annually.