The Secret Behind the Best Oats
At One Degree Organic Foods, we believe in the connection between healthy soil, healthy crops, and healthy people. We are passionate about clean, nourishing foods, and we believe that you deserve 100% transparency in everything you eat. Our farmers share these values, and it’s what lays the foundation for the dozens of mutually prosperous partnerships we take care to cultivate. We look for farmers who are committed to clean, organic ingredients—and who value their connection with their customers as much as we do. Fostering strong relationships with our farmers produces the best organic ingredients—and it is what makes our organic oats a cut above the rest.
What Makes Our Organic Oats Special?
Our oats are special for many reasons—but above all else—it starts with the relationships we build with our farmers. In the case of our oat farmers, they partner with us because they share our passion for organic farming and dedication to producing the highest quality product.
“It’s not just a business transaction”, says Ali Biglar, Director of Procurement at One Degree, “the farmers work with us because they want to support us… they share our values.”
Farmers are looking to build a long-lasting relationship with someone they can trust, that is why we focus on building a mutually beneficial partnership. By getting to know the farmers and their families on a personal level, and paying them a fair price, we do everything we can to support them. Top quality oats require top quality service and relationship building.
One Degree is family-owned and family focused. So it is no surprise we prefer to partner with family-run farms to source our organic ingredients whenever we can. But being a family-run farm is far from the only requirement. We also make sure that every farm we partner with shares our values.
In addition to family, we look for farmers that value clean ingredients and building connections. Connecting with our farmers and sharing their story becomes the foundation of our relationship. Together, we can work to bring healthy, organic, plant-based foods to our customers.
Our excitement for producing the best oats around is shared by the farmers we partner with. They are thrilled to share their organic oats with our customers, and they are even more excited when we get to visit them.
Ali made a trip to northern Alberta to visit some of the farms in the area and he was amazed by the level of enthusiasm these farmers have for organic farming. “They love to take you around, show off the farm and tell you all about the process. They truly believe in organic farming!”
This shared set of values between our company and our farmer partners is what makes our oats special. Our farmers are commited to clean, organic ingredients, and they care just as much about the customer as we do.
Growing with Our Farmers
“In our time working with oat farmers, we have gone from producing 30,000 kg of oats per week to almost 200,000 kg of oats per week!” Even recently, Ali reports we are buying double the oats we did the year prior. This massive increase in demand for our organic oats means we now need multiple farmers to keep store shelves stocked, where we once only needed one.
Maintaining our high standards for the quality of our oats while ramping up our production can feel like a tall order. But by working with farmers who care deeply about producing the best organic, gluten-free, glyphosate-free oats on the market, that task becomes a bit less challenging. Finding more oat farmers that share our values and fondness for high quality oats has been key to our growth. Starting with just one oat farmer, we have grown our network to 16 different oat farms, each with their own unique story to tell.
Where Our Organics Oats Are Grown (and Why It Matters)
We nurture our relationships with the same level of care as the farmers nurture their crops. And although this is key to producing the best oats, Mother Nature plays her role as well. Canada’s prairie provinces produce some of the best oats in the world. The area in northern Alberta—where our new farmers grow—is especially well-suited to oat farming. But the favorable climate and long daylight hours are only part of the story. The area is also home to a strong network of organic oat farmers who support one another. Organic farming is more than an occupation there—it is a way of life. And the strength of their community comes out in the quality of the oats they grow.
Not Just a Transaction
Building a strong personal relationship with our farmers is the key ingredient to providing the best oats for our customers. And our farmer partners are happy to join us in our mission, simply because we treat them with respect. We proudly feature our farmers because we believe they should be recognized for their hard work and dedication. And to them, we are more than just a faceless brand trying to get the lowest price on a commodity transaction. One Degree takes great time and care in establishing long-lasting, mutually-beneficial relationships with all of our farmer partners.
As co-owner Stan Smith likes to say, “One Degree isn’t a product with a story, One Degree is a story with a product.” And that story starts with our farmers. Our commitment to transparency means telling our consumers about where their food comes from—and who it comes from.
Janice Smith, Director of Operations at One Degree Organics captures the essence of the connection our staff have with the farmers. “I might see Edwin Wieler’s oats coming down the line and immediately into my head pops the picture of him and his family, the visits we’ve had… and for each one of these farmers it’s the same thing. I wish our customers could see and meet the farmers the way we have. These are real people. These are moms and dads, with kids or grandkids, getting up every morning and they care! They care about growing their crops with the best knowledge and the best soil they have.”
Janice goes on to describe the level of trust and integrity our farmer partnerships are built on. “These farmers farm on a handshake. Their handshake is as good as any written contract anywhere. The farmers work hard and they care about their product, and I wish our customers could see that.”
Learn more about where—and who—your food comes from by checking out more of our farmer stories. Subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of this page to get more easy healthy recipes every served up every month! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for all things One Degree Organics. Stay tuned for more stories about our new oat farmers in the months to come.