Since beginning work full-time as the Outreach Coordinator in mid-May (after a semester as an intern), I’ve been excited to get going on my biggest project: the “Supporting Retailer Program." While my other recent tasks, such as sending letters to organic seed producers and emailing Canadian distributors, are just as engaging, the Supporting Retailer Program is the culmination of my first month and a half of work. So I’m excited to say that after a long period of thoughtful consideration, cost-estimates, and excel spreadsheets, the Supporting Retailer Program is off the ground and running!
Last week I began contacting retailers across the nation letting them know about the Program, which started as part of the Project’s push for retailer support in preparation for the fall, when the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal will begin to appear on packaging. With over 400 products enrolled, many retailers will see the Non-GMO Project Verified seal on their store shelves. Thus it is critical that we cooperate closely with retailers in our outreach efforts, as the Project relies on retailers as an essential link to consumers.
By becoming a Supporting Retailer with a donation of $150, retailers can publicize their support of the Non-GMO Project with buttons, stickers, and a large, 2’ by 3’ poster that reads, “Supporting Retailer” with the Project’s logo beneath. In addition, Supporting Retailers will receive frequently updated PDFs and training materials sent directly to their inboxes so that they can keep their customers, employees, and themselves up-to-date on the GMO issue. For more detailed information or to sign up as a Supporting Retailer, please click here.
So far, reception of the Program has been extremely positive! Within the first week, we enrolled 8 stores as Supporting Retailers (you can search for and identify these stores on the “Search Retailer Endorsers” page), and we expect this number to grow exponentially! Many retailers are excited to hear that they can finally refer their customers to reliable non-GMO options. Although not everyone has money in the budget to make a donation during these tough economic times, retailers are actively engaged in working with the Project to ensure that their customers have a choice when it comes to GMOs. It’s exciting to speak with so many retailers who are interested in and enthusiastic about the Project, and I know that this interest will only keep growing as the Non-GMO Project looks forward to the fall.
There are hundreds more retailers yet to contact, and I’m excited for all of the conversations and collaboration ahead!