For many of us, the cancellation of Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim was a wakeup call on the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our day-to-day, though the virus was in its earlier stages back in March. 2020 looked very different on Sunday, March 1st when eight OTA-sponsored international buyers boarded flights to Anaheim to meet with U.S. exporters and walk the trade show. Just 24 hours later, these jet-lagged buyers arrived to California only to discover that the show had been cancelled while they had been on board their flights.
Take the first step to fight organic fraud with online training
Organic businesses wanting to protect against organic fraud in their operations can now complete an online training course that is a key component of the Organic Trade Association’s groundbreaking industry-wide Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions, a voluntary program to help minimize and eliminate organic fraud.
International by the numbers
Despite tariffs hitting world markets in 2018, total U.S. organic exports increased 10 percent from 2017 to reach $619 million (all figures U.S. dollars). Canada remains our largest trade partner, importing over $291 million worth of U.S. exports. Mexico finished off 2018 with a total of $108 million in imports of U.S. products, a 19 percent decrease from 2017. However, Mexico exported $317 million worth of organic products to the U.S., up 14 percent.
Organic Trade Association members face the challenge head-on with innovative initiatives
Planting trees in the Peruvian Amazon, working with dairy farms to improve soil health, transforming farmland to regenerative agriculture, installing new solar panels, designing fully recyclable or compostable food packaging, reducing food waste. Ambitious, diversified, visionary projects underway by organic companies, with one common goal – to fight against climate change.
The Organic Trade Association received funding to conduct a GBI (Global Based Initiative) this summer to determine which types of social media campaigns are most effective for closing sales of U.S. agricultural exports in our top export markets and create a process for evaluating these campaigns in line with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) performance measures.
This past fall, the Organic Trade Association partnered with key retailers in Asia to promote U.S. organic products in supermarkets visited by thousands of consumers. Working with Bio c’Bon in Japan and City Super in Hong Kong, the Organic Trade Association funded in-store promotions that included cooking classes, in store demo experts, and digital media content.
Food fraud, or the act of defrauding buyers of food or ingredients for economic gain, has plagued the food industry throughout history. Although it is not known conclusively how widespread food fraud is in the United States or worldwide, it is now estimated to be a $50 billion industry for the total food market --about the same size as the entire 2017 U.S. organic market.
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.