25 April 2012
The Organic Industry is Growing
2012 Organic Industry Survey by the Organic Trade Association
Organic is this decade’s most common buzzword in the natural foods market. However, organic farming is far from new. For thousands of years before modern fertilizers and chemicals were used, farmers relied on techniques such as crop rotation, manure fertilizers and other natural forms of pest control. Today, the majority of farming in the U.S. is done conventionally using chemicals for fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides. The good news is, despite this, the organic industry in the US is growing.
The 2012 Organic Industry Survey was recently released by the Organic Trade Association (O.T.A) showing that due to consumer choice in the U.S., the organic industry grew by 9.5 percent in 2011 to reach over $31 billion in sales. The growth of this industry is the “fastest growing segment of U.S. agriculture for over a decade,” Christine Bushway, Executive Director and CEO of the O.T.A stated. “Consumers are increasingly engaged and discerning when they shop, making decisions based on their values and awareness about health.” Their purchasing decisions are attributed to the higher levels of education and awareness concerning organic versus conventional products.
According to the survey, the growth of the organic industry trumped the total sales of conventionally produced items in 2011, “which experienced [only a] 4.7 percent growth.” This growth is an improvement considering the entire food market only saw a total of 1.6 percent rise in 2011. Ninety-four percent of organic operations in the US are planning on increasing or maintaining employment for 2012. The potential increase in employment in the U.S. via the organic industry is much needed and can potentially increase national employment percentages in the future. The future of the organic industry is looking bright as it is expected to grow by another nine percent next year.
Rumiano Cheese Co. is proud to be a part of the growing organic food industry and the fact that we employ over 150 people producing Organic Non-GMO Verified Cheese in California. After being a part of this year’s Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA where thousands of organic and natural products were showcased, it is going to be exciting to see how much larger the expo will get in the coming years!