Seeds of Change is an heirloom seed company that was founded in 1989 by Kenny Ausubel with a vision to promote and preserve biodiversity of open-pollinated seeds. Ausubel left the company in 1994. In 1997 Seeds of Change was bought out by the Mars Corporation, producer of Mars, M&M's, and Snickers bars.
“Some of them say Mars has used a common corporate technique of buying up a small company, using the good will behind its brand to burnish its image, then abandoning the original operation.
“It was a seed company, and then Mars with its clout and its money and seeing a market potential, they started Seeds of Change foods division,” said an employee who asked not to be identified. “As is very common with these consolidations, large corporations buy up small companies and then green-market their image by virtue of usurping the integrity of the original company.”
The packaging for Seeds of Change salad dressings, salsas, pastas and grains — now surpassing seed sales — invites customers to visit “our farm” in New Mexico. But in reality, a company spokesman confirmed, ingredients for the food products are grown elsewhere and the El Guique farm has been used only for research.
Only a small amount of seeds sold by the company have been produced on the El Guique farm. Most were grown at locations in California, Oregon and Washington.
“I'm not going to allege that it's unethical, but you could draw the line,” said the New Mexico employee, who said the company has offered severance packages to workers contingent on not talking to news media about the situation. “You read that packaging, they're promoting the farm. The reality is the farm is being shut down.” Read more. . .
In 2010, Mars closed the Seeds of Change Research Farm and Garden.