Trust and partnership key to building a new sustainable supply chain.
Getting a peat moss replacement made from dairy cos manure into Walmart stores in 43 states no small feat.
But partners throughout the supply chain – from farm to retail – rose to meet consumers’ demand for a more sustainable gardening product. And they did it quickly. In just a few years, Magic Dirt™ was innovated an distributed nationwide thanks to dairy farmers’ enterprising spirit and Walmart’s logistical and marketing expertise. Here’s how.
A patented anaerobic digester produces methane for heat or electricity from dairy manure, and the plant fibers that remain can replace peat moss. Magic Dirt is made up of these fibers and mixed with materials like shredded pine bark to make a uniform consistency. And it’s in demand from gardeners across the country. But delivering the product from cow to garden takes work, trust and patience.
Magic Dirt provides a weekly greenhouse offset report.
Selling manure fiber provides a secondary income stream, after energy, from manure digesters.
Walmart uses its logistical expertise to move the finished product efficiently.
The 10 or so farms that supply Magic Dirt with fiber were happy to find a home for their manure and an extra source of income. Farmers have known manure’s value for centuries, and there is always potential for innovation. Magic Dirt identified a sustainable, marketable alternative to peat moss and set up the supply chain to support it.
The co-founders of Magic Dirt began by pitching the product to individual stores, but once Walmart became interested in Magic Dirt’s sustainability story, the retailer provided key insights about gardening products, as well as how to package the product and get it to store shelves.
Dairies were willing to work with Magic Dirt, a new an untested company, even though demand is seasonal. And landscape supply companies were open to learning about how to handle, process and blend a material they hadn’t worked with before.
Magic Dirt’s innovation and determination, along with their unique collaboration with Walmart and dairy farmers, is the reason this sustainable dairy byproduct succeeds.
The full press release with information on all award winners is available here.