US – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a significant increase in the number of certified organic operations, continuing the trend of double digit growth in the organic sector.
According to new data, there are now 21,781 certified organic operations in the US and 31,160 around the world.
"Organic food is one of the fasting growing segments of American agriculture," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "As consumer demand for organic products continues to grow, the USDA organic seal has become a leading global standard."
According to data released by the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP), the number of domestic certified organic operations increased by almost 12 per cent 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 US and over $75 billion worldwide.
Along with consumer demand for organics, increasingly they are asking for local foods.
Under Secretary Vilsack, USDA said it has supported providing consumers a stronger connection to their food with more than $1 billion in investments to over 40,000 local and regional food businesses and infrastructure projects since between 2009.
Industry data estimates that US local food sales totalled at least $12 billion in 2014, up from $5 billion in 2008.
USDA said it has strengthened programs that support organic operations over the past seven years, helping to make organic certification more accessible, attainable, and affordable through a "Sound and Sensible" approach.ThePoultrySite News Desk