Only Organic has started a new series highlighting Organic Pioneers throughout the industry. Our first interview features Uncle Matt’s founder, Matt McLean.
Organic Pioneer: Matt McLean
Organic Brand: Uncle Matt’s
Why did you choose to create a certified organic product?
Organic is our passion and we believe strongly that it is a better way to farm. Organic farming is the way mother nature intended… no harmful pesticides, no GMOs nor antibiotics.
How long has your brand been certified organic?
Since June of 1999. Almost 21 years.
Is it difficult to source certified organic ingredients?
In the beginning, organic options were less abundant, but today, as consumer demand has increased, so has the supply of certified organic ingredients.
What myth would you like to bust about being an organic food pioneer or the organic industry as a whole?
There is a myth that you need GMOs to feed the world. I believe organic, nutrient-dense food can more than adequately feed the population.
What is the biggest challenge you face as an organic pioneer?
The biggest challenge that we faced initially was the learning curve for organic farming; no one really knew how to farm organic in Florida. There was no existing blueprint or university research for producing organic in our climate and soil. That was a big challenge initially.
Where do you see organic food and farming in the next 5 years?
I see organic farming growing to 7-8%, with the demand of clean labels and ingredients. I would hope that number is closer to 10%. I’d love to see more consumers adopt a more organic lifestyle.
What advice would you give to a younger generation of entrepreneurs looking to get into the organic industry?
Find something that is your passion so you can pour your heart and soul into it. If it’s your passion, it won’t feel like work and will come naturally to you. Look for an opportunity that is not a me-too, but something unique within our industry. Hopefully, this matches your passion because you’ll dedicate your heart and soul into it.
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