For the first time in over a decade, the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) has a nearly full roster of appointed committee members. The reinvigorated committee will provide critical leadership and elevate the voice of California’s organic sector in public policy and programs.
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.
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.
In response to the discovery of fraudulent imports of soybeans from Turkey that violated federal organic regulations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Organic Program (NOP) in June revoked the organic certification of Beyaz Agro—a major Turkish grain exporter. The soybeans in question had been fumigated with aluminum phosphide—a prohibited substance under USDA’s National Organic Program—prior to arrival in the United Sates, yet were sold here as organic.
In late 2016, more than 500 organic operations, from organic fruit and vegetable growers, grains and oilseed farmers, livestock and poultry producers, dairy farmers, organic processors, and food makers across 45 states, participated in a comprehensive farm bill survey conducted by the Organic Trade Association (OTA).
I read with interest the May Washington Post article about shipments of corn and soybeans from Turkey that arrived in the United States labeled organic, but that clearly were not. The article raised important issues about organic supply chains and certification documents, but it raised a more fundamental issue as well: when there is an opportunity for added value in a supply chain, how can we make sure farmers, and not unscrupulous middlemen, reap these rewards?
After many years of dialog, there is a proposed research and promotion check-off program designed just for ORGANIC. All that’s needed now is YOUR comment to USDA supporting this game-changing initiative.