To gardeners everywhere,
We understand the rules of business have changed and that you expect more from the companies you do business with than simply providing a good product at a fair price. You expect transparency. You expect honesty. You expect leadership. The companies that deliver on these expectations are rewarded with a priceless gift: Your trust.
At ScottsMiracle-Gro, we are proud to have earned the trust of generations of consumers. It’s not something we take for granted. In fact, on the wall of my office hangs the notes from the retirement speech given by my father, Horace, who founded Miracle-Gro in 1951. In it, he said Miracle-Gro had become one of the world’s most beloved brands because it was considered a “trusted friend” by gardeners everywhere.
Indeed, trust is the cornerstone of our relationship with the millions of consumers who use our products every year.
Many of you know our company serves as the marketing agent for Roundup®, a non-selective weed control product owned by the German company, Bayer. We do not own the Roundup® brand but distribute the product to retailers for sale to consumers. We have served in this capacity since 1998. You may also know that Bayer remains engaged in litigation from consumers who allege Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, caused their cancer.
While Bayer has settled tens of thousands of cases so far, it remains engaged in court proceedings related to the possibility of future litigation. From the outset of these allegations, Bayer has stood by the safety of Roundup and glyphosate. We agree with their assessment based on the weight of regulatory findings, published studies, and assessments by our own internal and outside scientists who we asked to study the issue. If we didn’t believe Roundup was safe to be used as intended, we would not represent the product in the marketplace for Bayer or anyone else.
While we are confident in our view, we don’t pretend to speak for you and want to help you make an informed decision. That’s why we provide access on our website to the unedited report that asserts glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, along with several regulatory reports disputing that report’s conclusion.
Recently, Bayer has announced it wants to engage in conversations with ScottsMiracle-Gro about the potential to replace glyphosate with other active ingredients for the consumer Roundup product line-up. We welcome that discussion and believe there are several available options that Bayer can pursue.
In fact, ScottsMiracle-Gro no longer offers glyphosate in the brands that we own, a decision we made in 2018. We know consumers sometimes have questions and concerns about the products they use around their home and the lawn and garden industry is not immune from that fact. That’s why we developed a full range of non-selective weed control products under the Ortho® GroundClear® brand that provide consumers with a non-glyphosate alternative.
Trust is a two-way street. We believe our consumers trust us and we, in turn, trust them. That’s why we’re not afraid to provide a list of active ingredients on our website. Why we’re are not afraid to reach out to our critics. Why we’re not afraid to make changes to our products when we deem it necessary. And why we’re not afraid to take a stance on the issues that define our time.
I’m not sure who will lead our company a generation from now. But I do know I will share with that person the notes that my father gave to me. And decades from now, I am confident The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company will continue to be defined by two simple words: “Trusted friend.”
Chairman & CEO