Organic Food Trends

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 6 percent or higher (OTA 2017).

According to the 2016 Certified Organic Survey (NASS 2017), the United States has 5 million acres used for organic production. Of that amount, 2.7 million acres were planted to organic crops and 2.3 million acres were organic pasture or rangeland. . . .  Organic Food Trends


  • Economic Research Service (ERS), USDA.
  • Export Opportunities for U.S. Organics in the EU Market, GAIN Report, FAS, USDA, 2013 - The potential market for U.S. organic products in the EU is estimated at almost $50 million. Opportunities are to be found in vegetables, fresh fruit, dried fruit and nuts, specialty grains and processed products.
  • National Organic Program
  • 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.
  • Program Handbook, National Organic Program, AMS, USDA - The National Organic Program launched an online version of its handbook, a resource to clarify existing Federal organic requirements and offer best practices to help the regulated industry comply.
  • U.S. Organic Trade Data: 2001 to 2016, 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.


  • 2016 Certified Organic Production Survey, NASS, USADA, 2017.
  • 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.
  • 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 2017. A search feature allows users to search by certifying agent, country, products produced, etc.

Transitioning to Organic

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 September 2018.