(March 11, 5:50 p.m.) Organic fruit and vegetable suppliers are taking advantage of Earth Day — April 22 — by promoting their products the entire month of April.

Wenatchee, Wash.-based Stemilt Growers Inc. and San Juan Bautista, Calif.-based Natural Selection Foods LLC are participating in the fifth annual Go Organic for Earth Day campaign.

Sponsors of the national promotion:

  • Organic Trade Association, Greenfield, Mass.;

  • Earth Day Network, Washington D.C., and

  • Minneapolis-based MusicMatters, a marketing firm.

New to the campaign this year is an online store finder and iPhone application store finder to help consumers locate the 3,569 retail locations in 41 states across the country that are scheduled to participate.

The three organizations also plan to improve retail execution with more customization, in-store auditing and retail coverage and to increase the focus on bringing consumers into stores with more localized public relations and Web efforts and the easier-to-find store locations, said Sue McGovern, spokeswoman for the Organic Trade Association.

Natural Selection Foods has used the campaign to promote its Earthbound Farm products since 2005, the first year of the Go Organic promotion.

“We are doing it again this year because there is an opportunity with our (retail) customers that are participating, and it’s a great way to recognize Earth Day and to connect sustainability with food,” said Samantha Cabaluna, director of communications for Natural Selection Foods.

Participating brand marketers include organic products in a coupon book with $12 worth of savings. The coupon book is distributed to participating retailers, along with point-of-sale signs to highlight the products.

In addition to the coupon books, consumers will be exposed to educational material about organic products and be directed to a Web site set up for the event, www.organicearthday.org.

Web and e-mail marketing and public relations efforts also will direct consumers to the site.

For retailers that don’t participate in Go Organic, Natural Selection Foods plans other promotions in April. One of those programs is similar to Go Organic and involves tear-off coupons on the shelves.

“The tear pad also has information that drives the consumer to our site, where we have special Earth Day content,” Cabaluna said.

Natural Selection Foods plans to give away 25,000 reusable shopping bags in April to consumers who participate in the interactive Earth Day content on the site.

“It’s usually a little quiz, but it’s not finalized yet,” Cabaluna said.

Organic leaders take Earth Day to retailers
The Go Organic for Earth Day campaign is scheduled for April.

Courtesy McGovern Communications