The U.S. is the largest organic market in the world representing more than half of all consumer sales for organic products globally. Consumers now enjoy all types of organic products from apples to ziti, but this abundance and variety are not possible without trade. The global organic industry continues to grow, with over $81.6 billion USD in 2015. According to FiBL, over 179 countries around the world have organic activities with over 2.4 million organic producers worldwide. As the global industry matures, the importance of trade and tracking increases.
The success of organic as a production system and the ability to overcome challenges that discourage farmers from transitioning to or expanding organic production rely on connections and communication between multiple groups of stakeholders.
Serafina Palandesh and her wife Chef Jen Johnson are on a mission to have their company’s organic chicken nuggets in every household freezer in the United States one day.
This is an ambitious goal for a young start-up company. However, Hip Chick Farms—an organic frozen poultry brand that Serafina and Jen bill as “ethical, organic and tenderly delicious”—is already making huge progress, thanks to a $2 million investment in August 2016 from Advantage Capitol Partners.
An organic trade advisor who has worked for decades to open the global world of organic and act as an important organic ambassador both domestically and internationally, an organic grape grower and winemaker with unwavering commitment to organic advocacy and community, and an unlikely entrepreneur who has built a booming business around sprouting organic flours and grains to start a new trend for the organic industry will each be honored with a 2017 Organic Trade Association Leadership Award.
Alice Rolls had worked with environmental non-profits for 30 years prior to becoming the Executive Director of Georgia Organics in 2004—a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting Georgia-produced organic food to Georgia families. At that time, there were only 25 certified organic farms in the state.
Organic Dietary Supplements
The Dietary Supplements Council first convened in August 2016 under the leadership of Bethany Davis from FoodState Inc. The aim of the council is to provide a forum for discussing issues, challenges and opportunities related to dietary supplements and to grow the organic supplement sector.
The U.S. organic sector stayed on its upward trajectory in 2016, gaining new market share and shattering records, as consumers across the United States ate and used more organic products than ever before, according to the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) 2017 Organic Industry Survey.
Organic sales in the U.S. totaled approximately $47 billion in 2016, reflecting new sales of almost $3.7 billion from the previous year.
Major league baseball player Jayson Werth doesn’t look like an organic farmer—especially when he’s at the plate or in the outfield in his Washington Nationals uniform. But, looks can be deceiving.
The star hitter and outfielder has batted in almost 800 runs, hit more than 200 home runs and helped win a World Series in his now 15-year major league baseball career. He’s kept his eyes on the ball and on his health, and has eaten organic for more than a decade. And for almost a decade now, he’s also been an organic farmer.
Engaging with members of Congress and their staff is a critical component to advocating on behalf of organic. The good news is that the Organic Trade Association has an excellent story to tell.