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REWE supermarkets engage consumers in helping farmers switch to organic agriculture

German supermarket chain REWE has launched a new store brand to support farmers transitioning to organic farming. Dubbed REWE Wegbereiter (pioneers), the initiative aims to help farmers during the critical conversion phase, when they produce according to organic standards but can't yet label their products as such.

Starting from the second year of conversion, farmers can market their products as Wegbereiter, generating additional revenue to offset conversion costs. The first Wegbereiter products are grown by Spargelhof Kügel, a Bavarian asparagus farm converting to organic. By participating in Wegbereiter, the farm is fetching higher prices for its not-yet-organic harvests.

REWE is partnering with the international organic association Naturland, which provides advice and guidance during the transition process, addressing farmers' concerns and ensuring compliance with organic standards.

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The REWE Wegbereiter program exemplifies a practical and innovative accelerator for sustainable food production, benefiting farmers and consumers through economic support and transparent value. Similarly, French startups Transition and PourDemain have created standalone brands for products in the transition period between conventional agriculture and organic.

Both they and REWE's Wegbereiters are more than mere marketing strategies; they're inviting consumers to actively participate in the shift to agriculture that doesn't rely on harmful pesticides and fossil fuel–intensive fertilizers. By purchasing transitional products, consumers aren't just buying goods but directly contributing to the broader ecological movement. Whatever purpose-driven goal your brand is pursuing, how can you involve your customers in the step-by-step process required to get there?

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