Organic Food Trends
Photo courtesy of USDA.
Organic agriculture, a worldwide growth industry, can be a profitable, sustainable business for agricultural producers interested in going through the certification process necessary to enter this market. Organics have continued to expand during the last few years, and industry experts are forecasting steady growth of 9 percent or higher (OTA 2012).
Rapid growth in the organic sector has highlighted issues that need to be addressed: shortages of organic raw materials such as organic grain and organic sugar and competition from food marketed as “locally grown" or "natural." A shortage of affordable organic ingredients or products, such as corn and soybeans for livestock feed, left organic producers unable to meet market demand. (ERS 2009) January 2013 . . . Organic Food Trends
- Beyond Organic. How Evolving Consumer Concerns Influence Food Purchases, Context Marketing, 2009.
- Consumer-driven U.S. organic market surpasses $31 billion in 2011, Organic Trade Association (OTA), 2012.
- Economic Research Service (ERS), USDA.
- America's Organic Farmers Face Issues and Opportunities, Amber Waves, 2010 - The number of certified organic crop and livestock operations and acreage under organic management has grown rapidly over the past decade, but adoption of organic farming practices in the U.S. still lags behind many other countries.
- Emerging Issues in the U.S. Organic Industry, 2009.
- Marketing U.S. Organic Foods: Recent Trends From Farms to Consumers, 2009 - U.S. organic-industry growth is evident in an expanding number of retailers selling a wider variety of foods, the development of private-label product lines by many supermarkets and the widespread introduction of new products. Retail sales of organic foods have jumped from $3.6 billion in 1997 to $21.1 billion in 2008.
- Market-Led Growth vs. Government-Facilitated Growth: Development of the U.S. and EU Organic Agricultural Sectors, 2005.
- Organic Prices, 2009.
- Organic Trade, Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook, 2012 - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection began officially collecting data on trade of organic agricultural products as of January 1, 2011. This commodity highlight provides data for 23 export items including fruit and vegetables. On the import side, information is available on some fruits and vegetables as well as grains and soybeans, for a total of 20 items. In 2011, organic agricultural export products totaled $412 million and imports totaled $670 million.
- Role of Contracts in the Organic Supply Chain, 2010 - Contracting is widespread in the organic sector. This article summarizes survey data on contracting in that sector, addressing the extent of contracting, the rationale for using contracts and contract design for select commodities..
- The U.S. Organic Handling Sector in 2004: Baseline Findings of the Nationwide Survey of Organic Manufacturers, Processors, and Distributors, 2008.
- Fourth National Organic Farmers Survey: Sustaining Organic Farms in a Changing Organic Marketplace (Full Report), Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), 2004 - OFRF's National Organic Farmers Surveys have collected data about organic farmers and farming for 1993, 1995, 1997 and 2001.
- National Organic Program, National Agricultural Law Center, University of Arkansas, 2009.
- The North American Market for Organic Food & Drink, Organic Monitor, 2010.
- Organic Agriculture in the United States: Program and Policy Issues, Congressional Research Service, 2008.
- Organic Farmers Increasingly turn to Cooperative Business Model, Rural Cooperatives magazine, USDA, 2010 - Organic Valley is one of four producer-owned, organic food co-ops that have flourished for more than 20 years.
- Organic Foods: Are they safer? More nutritious? Mayo Clinic, 2008 - This online article explains the difference between food grown organically vs. conventionally.
- Organic Marketing Resources, Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA), NCAT - A listing of resources, including prices, sales data and trends, for organic food and fiber products.
- Organic Price Report, Rodale Institute - Price Index on fruits, grains, herbs and vegetable in several U.S. market places.
- Organic Products, Foreign Ag Service (FAS), USDA.
- Organic Resource Guide, Ag Marketing Service (AMS), USDA - Provides an overview of the USDA programs and services available to the public that either directly or indirectly support organic agriculture.
- Organics, Food Navigator-USA - Organic news topics on food and beverages are featured.
- Organic Trade Continues to Grow, FAS, USDA, 2008.
- Program Handbook, National Organic Program, AMS, USDA, 2013 - The National Organic Program released an updated version of its handbook, a resource to clarify existing Federal organic requirements and offer best practices to help the regulated industry comply.
- Seventy–eight percent of U.S. families say they purchase organic foods, OTA, 2011.
- U.S. Organic Exports Grow in 2012, Organics: World Markets and Trade, FAS, USDA, March 2013 - Exports of “selected” organic products expanded to nearly $450 million in 2012, with apples accounting for virtually all of the growth. Canada and Mexico remain top markets for the vast majority of the selected organic trade.
- Willingness to Pay for Locally Produced Foods: A customer intercept study of direct market and grocery store shoppers, Ohio State University, 2006.
- 2008 Organic Production Survey, Census of Agriculture, National Ag Statistics Service (NASS), USDA, 2010.
- Organic Farmers: Steps to Success, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 2012 - This free farm management resource for organic farmers contains five simple worksheets to help the farmers assess their own management and financial strengths and identify areas they want to improve.
- Organic Production, Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, National Ag Library, USDA.
- Organic Livestock Feed Suppliers, ATTRA, NCAT.
- Organic Production, ERS, USDA - This site includes data on the certified organic farmland acreage and livestock in the United States.
- Protecting the Integrity of Organic Grains During Harvest, Rodale Institute, 2004 - Develop strict cleaning protocol for harvesting and handling equipment to keep grain clean, pure and uncontaminated.
- Organic Risk Management, University of Minnesota, 2010 - This free online manual and website will help organic farmers understand the risks in organic production and make choices that minimize those risks.
- Understanding Organic Pricing and Costs of Production, ATTRA, NCAT, 2012 - This new ATTRA publication provides resources to compare organic and conventional agriculture prices, discusses organic production costs and offers tips on how to set organic crop prices. It also includes case studies of successful organic farmers and ranchers in Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington.
- USDA-Certified Organic Operations, AMS, USDA - This database lists the organic production and handling operations around the world that were certified as of January 2012. A search feature allows users to search by certifying agent, country, products produced, etc.
- Certified Organic Production: The Experiences and Perspectives of Idaho Farmers, Washington State University, 2010 - A report on a 2009 statewide survey of organic producers.
- Current Status of Organic Agriculture in Washington State: 2010, Washington State University, 2011.
- Current Status of Organic Agriculture in Washington State: 2009, Washington State University, 2010.
- Organic Agriculture in Wisconsin: 2012 Status Report, University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Department of Ag, 2012 - Wisconsin boasts the second largest number of organic farms and ranks first among the states for the number of organic dairy and beef farms.
- Organic Agriculture in Wisconsin--2009 Status Report, University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, 2010 - Wisconsin is the top-ranked state for number of organic dairy farms and ranks second for number of organic beef farms.
- Organic Ag in Wisconsin--2007 Status Report, University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, 2008 - This report includes a focus on organic dairy production in Wisconsin.
- Organic Farm Performance in Minnesota: 2011, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 2012.
- Organic Farm Performance in Minnesota: 2010, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 2011 - The median organic producer earned a net farm income of $62,463 in 2010, a six-fold increase over 2009.
- Organic Farm Performance in Minnesota: 2009, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 2010.
- Profile of Organic Crops in Washington State – 2008, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University, 2009.
- Statistical Review of California’s Organic Agriculture: 2005 – 2009, Agricultural Issues Center, University of California, 2011 - This publication quantifies the current size and growth of the organic industry in California in terms of acres, farm gate sales and number of growers statewide and by commodity, commodity group, county and region, based on California Department of Agriculture registration data.
- Statistical Review of California Organic Agriculture 2000-2005, Agricultural Issues Center, University of California, 2007.
- Status of Organic Agriculture in Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 2010 - Minnesota consistently ranks #1 in organic soybean acres and #1 or #2 in organic corn acres.
- Texas Organic Food Production, Marketing on the Rise, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 2010.
- Trends in Washington State Organic Agriculture 2004-2011, Washington State University, 2011 - This summary presents updated highlights of certified organic crop acreage and value in Washington State.
- Wisconsin Organic Production Survey, NASS, USDA, 2011.
- Australian Organic Market Report, Biological Farmers of Australia, 2012 - This report attempts to define the size and extent of the organic industry in Australia.
- China Organics Report, Global Ag Information Network (GAIN) Report, FAS, USDA, 2010 - Some analysts expect domestic sales of organic products in China to be as high as $3.6 to $8.7 million by 2015.
- Organic Foods Find Growing Niche in Mexico, GAIN Report, FAS, USDA, 2011 - Demand for organic food products in Mexico has been growing over the last few years, making Mexico an attractive market for U.S. exporters of organic food products.
- Organic Market Report, Soil Association, United Kingdom (UK), 2012 - This report is the definitive guide to organic trade in the UK.
- Organic Production, Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.
- The World of Organic Agriculture, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Foundation Ecology & Agriculture (SÖL) and Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), 2012 - Demand for organic products in 2010 was concentrated in two regions: North America and Europe. The countries with the largest markets were the United States, Germany and France.
Transitioning to Organic
- Accredited Certifying Agents (ACAs), AMS, USDA - Currently, 85 certifying agents are USDA-accredited and authorized to certify operations to the USDA organic standards. Of these, 49 are based in the U.S. and 36 are based in foreign countries.
- Farmer Transition Hotline, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) - Call 888-551-GROW (4769) to get an answer to your questions about organic farming and soil building, weed and pest control, livestock and certification paperwork.
- Guide for Organic Crop Producers, ATTRA, NCAT, 2012 - This guide explains the USDA organic regulations as they apply to crop production.
- Guide for Organic Livestock Producers, ATTRA, NCAT, 2012 - This guide explains the USDA organic regulations as they apply to livestock producers.
- HowToGoOrganic.com, OTA - This website offers two pathways to organic certification: one for producers and one for processors.
- Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) - Through a toll-free organic farmers’ hotline, workshops, organic certification services and other methods, MOSES provides educational resources for organic farmers. Specific resources include the "Guidebook for Organic Certification," 26 pages of common certification questions and answers.
- Organic Certification of Farms and Businesses Producing Agricultural Products, ATTRA, NCAT, 2012.
- Organic 101: Five Steps to Organic Certification, USDA Blog, 2012.
Links to Other Sites
- National Organic Program, AMS, USDA.
- Organic Agriculture Program, Iowa State University Extension - The Organic Agriculture Program educates producers, consumers and policy makers in the research and extension activities in organic agriculture both on-farm and in the universities.
- The Organic Center - A center that seeks to "generate credible, peer reviewed scientific information and communicate the verifiable benefits of organic farming and products to society."
- Organic Trade Association
Links checked January 2013.
New USDA Data Offers In-Depth Look at Organic Farming, Newsroom, National Ag Statistics Service (NASS), USDA, 2010.
2008 Organic Production Survey, NASS, USDA, 2010.
Organic Agriculture: 2007 (United States), 2007 Census of Agriculture, NASS, USDA, 2009.