USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that the agency would begin focusing more attention on the growth of the organic industry, reports Food Safety News.Read More:USDA to Invest in Growing Organic Food Segment
As consumers got their first taste of the Environmental Working Group’s 2011 list of the most/least heavily sprayed fruits and vegetables, the Organic Trade Association has issued an advisory urging Americans to choose organic if they wish to avoid pesticide residues.Read More:New USDA Pesticide Data Supports Choosing Organic
Once a safe haven from unidentifiable cafeteria slop, students could subsist on Cheetos, Twix Bars and Cherry Coke, without leaving school grounds, and still insisting they ate “lunch,” thanks to the vending machine, which became popular staples on school grounds in the 1980s and 1990s.Read More:New Kid at School: Organic Vending Machines
From 1990 to 2007, the Organic Trade Association says the sales of organic foods jumped from $1 billion to $20 billion, but the honey moon is now over.
For example, one expert said the growth of Whole Foods’ organic sector recently dropped from 20% to 12.5% and some worry this level of growth may never be seen again.
And here’s where the plot thickens. Many organic farmers feel new government regulations—aimed to improve food safety—may unfairly single out small farms and cripple them financially.
New legislation will require the industry to fork over a $500 registration fee for each facility to pay for increased plant inspections. It could be even more if all these extra inspections result in additional expenses.
Big corporate food producers might be able to fit the bill, but the little organic farmer will be bankrupted.
Via Reuters.Read More:Organic Sector Losing Ground, Bad Economy and New Regulations to Blame
Either way, for the time being, Americans are living more frugally. But, how do you explain the 17% increase in organic sales in 2008, especially when organic foods are typically more expensive?
A report by the Organic Trade Association calls it a whopping increase, with organic food sales now accounting for roughly 3.5% of all food product sales in the United States. And its not just food! The overall boost included sales of personal care products, organic fibers and even pet food.
Researchers believe consumers are getting crafty in order to keep buying organic, like shopping around and using coupons. Not to mention, many value-positioned products, i.e. store brands, are now offering organic options. All great news!
Via Fresh Greens.Read More:Organic Sales Up 17%