FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17, 2023
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The Non-GMO Project Announces Equitable Transfer Program Recipient
New program redirects funding to BIMPOC-led businesses operating in the food, beverage or body care industries
Bellingham, WA - The Non-GMO Project announces that the recipient of its first round of Equitable Transfer Program grants is Tiffin Asha, a Portland, OR-based, women-owned and operated maker of South Indian-inspired condiments founded by Sheila Bommakanti and Elizabeth Golay.
Launched in March 2023, the Equitable Transfer Program was designed to address some of the barriers BIMPOC-led companies face in accessing financial resources, industry infrastructure and visibility for their products. The program will provide funding to cover or offset the costs associated with achieving Non-GMO Project verification.
“Justice and diversity are essential to building a better food system,” said Megan Westgate, executive director of the Non-GMO Project. “As a predominantly white-led organization, we are on a learning journey to understand the role we play in systemic racism and what we can do to transfer power and resources to people of color who own and lead businesses in the natural products industry. Our hope is that this equity program represents a small, but meaningful first step into even more meaningful relationships.”
For Tiffin Asha, the funds will go toward covering the cost of Non-GMO Project annual verification renewal. Besides Non-GMO Project Verified, the products are also vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. What started as a food cart is now a restaurant with a product line available nationwide.
“When we had our restaurant and food cart, it was easy to create an environment that showed customers we care about our ingredients. We were always there, and could literally talk with folks,” said Sheila Bommakanti. “But as a specialty food company, we thought, 'How can we express this?' We thought about how we shopped, what we looked for in stores, and it did not take long for us to conclude that one of our first priorities would be to become a Non-GMO Project Verified brand.”
“We are very proud to have our Tomato Ginger Pickle and Green Tomato Pickle Non-GMO Project Verified, because it shows our continued commitment to quality ingredients for our customers,” Elizabeth Golay said.
The application period for the next round of funding for the Non-GMO Project Equitable Transfer Program opens June 1, 2023. The deadline for applications is July 31, 2023. Brands interested in getting Non-GMO Project Verified can learn more on the website.
About the Non-GMO Project
The Non-GMO Project is a mission-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to building and protecting a non-GMO food supply. The Non-GMO Project Verified seal remains North America’s most trusted third-party verification for GMO avoidance. Backed by our rigorous Standard, the Butterfly label is a meaningful way for brands and retailers to show their commitment to non-GMO choices and the food transparency that shoppers seek. Learn more at www.nongmoproject.org.