USDA is reporting record growth in the number of organic operations — now 21,781 of them in the U.S. and 31,160 around the world.
“Organic food is one of the fasting-growing segments of American agriculture,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release.
New data released by the Agricultural Marketing Service’s National Organic Program (NOP) show that the number of domestic certified organic operations increased by almost 12 percent between 2014 and 2015, representing the highest growth rate since 2008 and an increase of nearly 300 percent since the count began in 2002.
The total retail market for organic products is now valued at more than $39 billion in the United States and more than $75 billion worldwide.
USDA has supported providing consumers a stronger connection to their food with more than $1 billion in investments to more than 40,000 local and regional food businesses and infrastructure projects since between 2009. Industry data estimates that U.S. local food sales totaled at least $12 billion in 2014, up from $5 billion in 2008.
USDA also has established multiple resources to help organics producers find technical and financial resources to help them grow domestically and abroad. The site www.usda.gov/organic creates a one-stop-shop for operators, and USDA has made market and pricing information for approximately 250 organic products available free of charge through USDA’s Market News. In 2015, USDA made more than $11.5 million available to assist organic operations with their certification costs.
The data are publicly available as part of the recently launched Organic Integrity Database.
Source: meatingplace.com, 4/11/2016