The food and gardening startup furthers its mission to “undo food” with the release of organic, non-GMO, domestically grown seeds for 92 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers — in packaging made of 100% recyclable materials.
With so many more of us in the US turning to our own backyards for fulfillment and nourishment during the COVID-19 pandemic, sustainable food and garden startup Back to the Roots is looking to bring the industry back to its homegrown origins with an expanding line of organic, 100 percent US-grown seeds.
The Oakland, Calif-based company — which specializes in indoor and at-home gardening kits — first launched a pilot version of its organic seed packet program this past spring, during which the company’s wide variety of vegetable and herb seeds became available at 100 Home Depot stores. Next spring, the program will expand to locations across the country; and launch nationwide in Albertsons and H-E-B supermarkets.
The seed line is the first 100 percent US-grown seed packet program in the country — a designation that has proven especially significant in light of Amazon’s recent ban on the sale of foreign seeds into the United States. On Sept. 30, all listings on seeds from sellers abroad were removed from the online marketplace, creating what Back to the Roots’ founders view as a new opportunity for small, domestic seed farmers.
“Transparency has been at the core of our brand since day one — sharing the stories of our incredible partner farmers and letting our community know exactly where and how each of our products are made,” said Back to the Roots co-founder and co-CEO Nikhil Arora. “And it’s exciting to see how consumers are now demanding this transparency from brands — voting with their dollars across categories and industries for transparently sourced products. Ultimately, transparency is what we think will anchor a more sustainable future.”
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Back to the Roots defines itself as a company for a new generation of home gardeners, with a mission to “undo food” by reconnecting young people to the land — whether that land is a backyard or an indoor planter in an urban apartment — and to the way food is grown. The company’s products — sold in over 10,000 stores nationwide — are aimed at making gardening accessible to growers of all experience levels and in all types of living environments, ranging from easy-to-use indoor grow kits to aquaponic water gardens and raised beds.
The pilot seed program launched this past spring included 92 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers — all of which are organic and non-GMO, with packaging made of 100 percent recyclable materials.
“The future of gardening is changing — to really bring a new generation into the garden, we have to move away from spraying who-knows-what chemicals on seeds from farms located who-knows-where,” co-founder and co-CEO Alejandro Velez said. “It’s about trust, transparency; and forming relationships: with the earth, with our family and friends we share our harvests with, and with the farmers who grow these incredible seeds.”