Published: October 4, 2022

Category: Organic News, The Non-GMO Blog

Becoming a king apparently has its downside: you might have to turn over a beloved organic food business you launched.

Such is the fate of King Charles III, whose Duchy Originals organic food and drink brand (the largest in the UK) brought in almost $4.1 million in 2021. The former Prince of Wales is a passionate environmentalist; he began Duchy Originals in 1990 to market produce from his organic farm on Highgrove estate.

Since the beginning of the 1980s, Charles has focused on food production avoiding industrialized agriculture, recognizing its “disastrous effect on soil fertility, biodiversity, and animal and human health.” An oaten biscuit was the first Duchy Originals product; that has expanded to 300 products. The company added new producers and manufacturers as it outgrew the Highgrove estate.

In 2009 it partnered with grocery chain Waitrose when the chain was on the brink of financial collapse. Waitrose has exclusive rights to sell the Duchy products—today consumers can find salmon, sausages, milk, carrots, and blueberries under the “Waitrose Duchy Organic” brand at its stores.

Prince William, inheritor of the Duchy of Cornwall estate, will now likely own Duchy Originals—though he’s likely to pass its management on to others, suggested Sally Bedell Smith, a biographer of the former Prince of Wales. From the start, Charles has passed on all profits from Duchy Originals to his charitable foundation; since joining with Waitrose, the foundation has accumulated over $35 million (2019 report).

Source: CNN

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Organic & Non-GMO Insights October 2022