The numbers prove it: the organic industry is growing at a remarkable pace, both in the U.S. and across the world. On April 15th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that data from the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) show that the number of USDA-certified operations grew by 5 percent in the U.S., for a total of 19,474 certified operations. In the long-term, organics have grown by over 250 percent since 2002 in the U.S. alone, showing that the demand for organic foods is long-lasting.
It’s a movement that is popular abroad as well. Globally, the USDA counts a total of 27,814 organic-certified operations. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack maintained that the growing demand for organics will continue to convince more and more to enter the organic market, creating a healthy, diverse Agriculture industry. He pointed out that this will only strengthen smaller, family-based Ag operations and the rural economy.
The USDA continues its commitment to connecting those in the organic business with resources and programs that promote conservation, offer loans and grants, fund research and education, integrate pest management and offset the costs of organic certification. Additionally, the USDA is getting ready to offer the Organic Integrity Database—set to launch in September 2015—which will offer a myriad of online tools to track and confirm a food’s organic roots with accurate and timely data.