John Roulac, the CEO of Nutiva, one of America’s fastest growing health food companies, prides himself in being able to predict what the next big ‘superfood’ will be.
And he’s doing well. After founding Nutiva in 1999, Roulac has managed to grow the company to a $70 million-a-year business that employees 80 people, reports SF Gate.
Nutiva’s product line – which ranges from hemp and chia seeds (the company’s best sellers) to coconut and red palm oil – is sold in 15,000 retailers across the country, including massive chain stores like Whole Foods, Safeway and Costco.“We would like to create an organic, non-GMO world, even if customers go elsewhere to buy it.”
The all-organic company is located in the San Francisco East Bay area, which Roulac described in a recent interview as “the heart of the organic movement.”
Despite being one of the largest suppliers of hemp foods in the country, all of Nutiva’s hemp product originates from Canada, where – unlike in the U.S. – cultivation is legal.
And while activists diligently fight for the revival of hemp farming in America, Roulac has a different take on the situation.
The CEO says he’s come to realize that developing the market for hemp products may be more important than lobbying the government. Roulac thinks if demand for hemp seeds continues to rise, lawmakers will eventually come around to legalizing domestic cultivation.
But what has driven the popularity of hemp foods to soar so rapidly?
Besides the nutrient-packed profile of the cannabis plant, Roulac believes the massive overtake of genetically modified foods has led many health conscious consumers down the organic path.
“The American people have been subjected to a science experiment, fed on a steady diet of genetically modified industrial foods grown with huge amounts of pesticides and made with preservatives and chemicals. That diet produces diabetes, cancer, heart disease, hormonal disruption and allergies… People know something is wrong. They’re in search of an answer.”
Unsurprisingly, Roulac adamantly rejects genetically modified foods.
“We would like to create an organic, non-GMO world, even if customers go elsewhere to buy it,” he explains. “If they want to buy it from us, that’s great, too.”
When asked about Nutiva’s ultimate goal, Roulac responds with frankness.
“To see Monsanto bankrupt,” he says.[SF Gate]