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Colorado Emerging As a Powerhouse in the Organic Products Market

BOULDER, Colo., October 26, 2010 -- With more than 200 organic farms in Colorado, and a growing number of businesses dedicated to organic and sustainable products, Colorado is emerging as a center of the organic products industry. Sales of organic products by Colorado companies are estimated at more than $2.5 billion, according to trade group Naturally Boulder, representing approximately 10% of overall U.S. sales of organic products, which was valued by the Organic Trade Association at nearly $25 billion in 2009.

Established national organic brand leaders such as Rudi’s Organic Bakery, Silk Soymilk, Horizon Organic Dairy, Earth Balance, Gaiam, Chocolove, New Belgium Brewery, Celestial Seasonings and others have long called Colorado home. These companies have helped brand the region as an “epicenter” of organic products. Emerging Colorado businesses including NextFoods, Justin’s Nut Butter, Pangea Organics, Third Street Chai, Seth Ellis Chocolatier, Evol Burritos, Madhava, Cooper Tea, Fresca Foods, Best Organics and others are distributing their products nationally.

Additionally, an innovative economic development initiative, Naturally Boulder, established in 2005 by the City of Boulder, is a unique public-private partnership with a mission to help entrepreneurial natural and organic products companies grow, become profitable, and create jobs through networking, resources, education and business mentoring. The organization, with more than 200 business members, specializes in linking young companies with seasoned organic industry advisors.

Rich Natural Retail History
Colorado also has played a pivotal role in the evolution of natural products retailing, with early pioneers such as Boulder-based chains Alfalfa’s Market and Wild Oats Markets paving the way for modern-day, full-service natural foods stores. Margaret Isely, a health food pioneer, founded Vitamin Cottage in Lakewood, Colo., in the 1950s. Now called Natural Grocers, this family owned chain has more than 30 stores in Colorado, Texas and the Southwest. Sunflower Farmers Markets, established by Wild Oats founder Mike Gilliland and based in Boulder, is emerging as a major Southwestern natural products retail chain. Veteran Boulder-based retailers also founded Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, a unique crossover natural pharmacy concept, with 23 stores in five states. Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain Regional headquarters are also located in Boulder.

Ideal Organic Farming Acreage
The state also enjoys favorable organic growing conditions. In 2008, Colorado’s 220 organic farms had farm-gate sales of more than $70 million, according to USDA’s first census of organic production published in February 2010. Like many states across the nation, farmers markets and community-supported agriculture (CSAs) have seen a dramatic rise, providing a direct market for many organic producers. Leading Colorado organic producers include Grant Family Farms, a 1,200-acre produce farm and CSA in Wellington, just north of Fort Collins, and Ela Family Farms in Hotchkiss, a 110-acre, fourth-generation family farm known for its organic peaches, apples and other fruit on Colorado’s Western Slope.

“After California, which is by far the number one producer of organic products, Colorado has emerged as a leader in organic farming and organic consumer products”, says Seleyn DeYarus, CEO of Best Organics, a Boulder-based company that sells gift box collections filled with leading local, regional and national organic brands.

“As a gift business dedicated to organic and eco-friendly products, we serve as ‘brand ambassadors.’ With educational literature and information, recipients of our gifts around the world are excited to learn about the products and the stories of the companies behind them, as well as how organic products are made and why they are beneficial to health, local economies and the environment.”

Promoting Local, Regional and National Partners
Best Organics is a member of Colorado Proud; its gift collections feature more than three dozen local, regional and national socially responsible and organic brands, including organic foods, snacks and personal care items, eco-friendly products for kids, and quality wines made from organic grapes.

In addition to leading organic brands based in Colorado, Best Organics also recently entered into a promotional partnership with Bonterra Vineyards, the nation’s number one seller of California wines made from organic grapes.*

Based in the heart of wine country in Mendocino County, Calif., Bonterra is widely known for its commitment to organic winemaking and biodynamic agriculture, a system of sustainable farming that approaches the land as a living, self-contained eco-system. With more than 900 acres under its own biodynamic organic production, Bonterra also works with other area organic farmers, promoting the expansion of more sustainable organic farming and wine production.

Bonterra’s full line of premium wines made from organic grapes, from its highly rated whites to award-winning reds and dessert wines, is now available online at special promotional prices throughout the holidays via Best Organics’ website at www.bouldersbestorganics.com.

“Working with an authentic, national brand leader such as Bonterra Vineyards fits well into our gift concept, as wine made from organic grapes complements all our products and makes a wonderful gift itself. And Bonterra crafts some of the best wines made from organic grapes in the world,” says DeYarus. “With the support of this national partner, we are better able to promote all of the local and regional companies we work with on a broader basis, and help further awareness of the benefits of organic food and farming."

About Best Organics
Best Organics LLC, a majority woman-owned Colorado company, provides local, organic and eco-friendly gift box collections filled with high-quality organic foods, personal care and other items. Our gift collections feature leading organic brands and local and regional products made by Boulder County and Colorado companies. Best Organics gift box collections are sold online at www.bouldersbestorganics.com and www.coloradosbestorganics.com; to corporate customers for key employees, clients and VIP contacts; and at leading retailers in Colorado. Our keepsake gift boxes can be readily shipped anywhere, and feature paintings of Boulder and Colorado by renowned local artist Jim Freeheart. Support Local - Give a Better...and a Greener Gift! For information, visit www.bouldersbestorganics.com, www.coloradosbestorganics.com, tel 303.499.ORGANIC (6742).

About Bonterra Vineyards
As one of the world’s leading producers of wines made from organically grown grapes, Bonterra Vineyards has long believed that organic grapes make better tasting wines. From its home in Mendocino County, California, Bonterra’s organic approach to winemaking took root in 1987. Bonterra produces a full array of award-winning wines from organic and biodynamic vineyards including Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Ros, Syrah, Viognier and, Muscat. For more information, visit www.bonterra.com.

To learn more about all the local, regional and national organic producers featured by Best Organics, contact Seleyn DeYarus, tel 303.499.6742; [email protected].

* Source: Nielsen data, 52 weeks ending July 24, 2010

Contacts:

Steven Hoffman, Compass Natural Marketing
tel 303.807.1042
[email protected]

Seleyn DeYarus, Best Organics
tel 303.499.6742
[email protected]

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