Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Native American Natural Foods Profiled in National Retailer Publication

Native American Natural Foods (NANF)-- maker of the delicious and nutritionally dense Tanka Bar, among other products-- was profiled in September's issue of the Costco Connection. Co-founders Karlene Hunter (Oglala Lakota) and Mark Tilsen give great insights into the development of their business over time as well as the history and cultural significance of their product, a buffalo-based protein bar.

You can check out Tanka Bar's write-up on their website, and you can read the full article here.

As co-founder Tilsen explains in the article, NANF's success in accessing a major national retailer like Costco is a critical step forward, but not just for NANF alone. This success showcases a range of viable business opportunities in agribusiness-- opportunities that do not belong solely to large corporations, but which could belong instead to smaller, Indian-owned companies like NANF and their suppliers. NANF prioritizes sourcing ingredients from Native producers. That should keep money in the community instead of allowing those profits to accrue elsewhere.

Currently, only 17% of the buffalo in Tanka Bars comes from Native suppliers, but when companies like NANF put Native operators first, it creates a dynamic opportunity for local growth in Indian Country. The more we see these types of partnerships develop, the more we begin to revitalize our community economies, keep food dollars flowing in-community, and preserve the rich cultural heritage that surrounds each Tribes' diversity of traditional foods.

No comments:

Post a Comment