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The Organic War: Who Will Collect the Spoils, Part II

Jan Valentic (Life.com photo)

Jan Valentic (Life.com photo)

Some of you may recall that I came back from a major trade show in Chicago quite fired up about the state of the organic lawn and garden industry. “We’re Winning the War, But Who Will Collect the Spoils?” I wrote in this blog post a few weeks back: http://www.safelawns.org/blog/index.php/2010/08/were-winning-the-organic-battle-but-who-will-collect-the-spoils/.

I was even more encouraged about the state of the organic union when I attended the Garden Writers Convention in Dallas last week. It’s more clear than ever that organic products are here to stay in the marketplace. Our panel discussion proved it, as did a breakfast talk the following Saturday morning by one of the newest members of the Scotts team. The world’s largest lawn and garden company trotted out Jan Valentic to wow a tough garden writer crowd that has become increasingly pro-organic in the past decade.

She acknowledged that her new employer was late to the organic table, but promised Scotts Miracle Gro is in the organic game for the long run. That Valentic was in Dallas to begin with was the most major piece of evidence that a sea change is coming from Marysville, Ohio. Until just a few months ago she was vice president of global marketing for Ford, a vastly larger company than Scotts. Her breakfast chat, though homespun for the audience, had more polish than a shiny new Mustang.

And, thus, the question remains: We’re winning the organic war, but who will collect the spoils? Scotts clearly wants its share, Espoma’s share, Bayer’s share and, most importantly, your share.

I enjoyed this column by Billy Goodnick, who is a fellow member of LawnReform.org and, like me, predisposed to mistrust anything Scotts says. In other words, do we feel good about what’s happening at Scotts, or just warily frustrated:
http://www.finegardening.com/item/16585/scotts-miracle-gro-stole-my-ammo

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

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