Slow growth in organic food sales as pandemic fades
After surging nearly 13 percent during the eat-at-home early days of the pandemic, sales of organic food rose by less than 2 percent in 2021, as Americans abandoned pantry loading, said the Organic Trade Association on Thursday. Sales of organic food totaled $57.5 billion last year, a $1 billion increase from 2020.
Batcha to step down from OTA in early 2022
After seven years as chief executive, Laura Batcha plans to leave the Organic Trade Association next spring as the industry enjoys record food sales. With sales of $56.5 billion last year, certified organic food accounts for nearly 6 percent of the total U.S. grocery market.
Record sales of organic food as pandemic boosts home cooking
Americans bought a record $56.5 billion of organic food last year, an increase of nearly 13 percent from 2019, as shoppers flooded grocery stores due to stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, said a survey released on Tuesday by the Organic Trade Association. Certified organic food accounted …
Slowest growth rate for organic food sales since 2009
Organic food is everywhere, from nationwide retailers to the local corner store, and facing increased price competition that slowed sales growth to its lowest rate since 2009, said the Organic Trade Association in an annual report on Wednesday.
A new buyout path for mission-driven businesses
A new consortium is launching a non-profit at a major natural foods trade fair Wednesday, trying to help mission-driven companies transition ownership to future generations without selling out their values to win venture capital or corporate ownership.
OTA lays groundwork for voluntary organic checkoff
Four months after the Trump administration killed a proposal for a mandatory checkoff program for organics, the industry’s largest trade group said it would move forward with a voluntary checkoff to promote organic food and products.
Organic turns inward in the face of setbacks at USDA
On Thursday, Laura Batcha, chief executive of the Organic Trade Association, announced an OTA pilot project to prevent fraud in the organics supply chain. The group, she said, is also exploring a voluntary program to fund promotion and research for organics.
Organic food sales rise by 6.4 percent in a year
Americans purchased a record $45.2 billion worth of organic food last year - half of it in fruit, vegetables, dairy and eggs - as organics took a still-larger share of U.S. spending on food, said a survey commissioned by the Organic Trade Association. Sales of organic food more than doubled in the past decade and now account for 5.5 percent of grocery sales.
USDA kills the proposed organic checkoff program
The Agricultural Marketing Service of the Department of Agriculture issued a preliminary notice Friday morning terminating the proposed organic checkoff program. The program, which was controversial among organic industry stakeholders, would have funded research and marketing for organic products. No paywall
USDA says aeroponics are still eligible for sale as organic
Two months after an advisory board voted to deny organic certification to aeroponic agriculture, the USDA said aeroponic crops remain eligible for the organic seal. "USDA will consider this [advisory] recommendation; aeroponics remains allowed during this review," said the Agricultural Marketing Service in a bulletin to organic growers.
Casey: Tweaks to conservation programs will help ‘homegrown organic’
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey says modifications to three USDA conservation programs will help organic farmers get established. A member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Casey said with demand on the rise for organic food, "we must do all we can to help American farmers and ranchers meet this demand."
Report urges states to step up their aid to organic farms
With demand for organic food outrunning U.S. production, state agriculture departments frequently have too little money and limited expertise to help the sector grow, says a report by the Berkeley Food Institute. It recommends states dedicate more money and personnel "to keep up with the growing organic market" and include organic agriculture in "state pride" programs that trumpet local products.
U.S. organic farm total rises 15 percent in a year, says consultancy
The booming U.S. demand for organic food is fueling a rapid expansion at the ground level, with more farms turning organic and growers devoting more land to feedstuffs for organic cattle and poultry, says Mercaris, which monitors the sustainable agriculture sector. "We look forward to seeing imports edge downward in coming years" as domestic corn and soybean production increases.
House bill would give USDA big boost to oversee organic food
Congress would double the USDA’s annual funding to oversee the booming organic agriculture sector and would provide an additional $5 million to prevent fraudulent organic imports under a bill filed by six U.S. representatives. An industry trade group said the bill would help the National Organic Program (NOP) keep pace with ever-increasing production and rapidly rising consumer demand for organics.
Conventional agriculture wants to overturn organic livestock rule
The National Pork Producers Council, representing conventional agriculture, called on Congress and the incoming Trump administration to overturn a new USDA animal-welfare rule for organic farms, a small part of U.S. food production. House Agriculture Committee chairman Michael Conaway said he hoped Trump officials "will immediately withdraw this rule but stand ready with my colleagues on the Hill to roll back the regulation if necessary."
More study of bioponics is needed, says organic standards board
On a 10-4 vote, the National Organic Standards Board sent back to subcommittee the contentious question whether bioponics, a term covering hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics, are part of organic agriculture, reports Food Safety News. "This means that food grown using hydroponic methods may continue to be certified as organic" if producers meet other criteria for the organic label, said FSN.
Millennial moms and dads are biggest bloc of organic shoppers
The 75 million members of the so-called millennial generation account for 23 percent of the U.S. population, and millennial moms and dads, parents who are 18-34 years old, are now the biggest consumers of organic products in the country, says the Organic Trade Association. A survey commissioned by OTA says half of the parents who buy organic are millennials.
Cornucopia blasts WhiteWave merger with Danone as anti-competitive
The Cornucopia Institute, an organic food industry watchdog group, said it filed a letter with the U.S. Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission opposing the proposed acquisition of WhiteWave Foods by French dairy giant, Groupe Danone, for about $10 billion.