Environment, Organic Policy and Regulations, What is Organic

Where have all the farmers gone?

Organic FarmerIn a recent discussion with Miles McEvoy, Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program, he cited a concern on the lack of new farming operations entering organic production.

“Though we have seen market success over the last 20 years, the number of new certified operations in the US has remained relatively flat,” Miles told me. “The industry continues to grow, sales are up, but the number of certified operations has not grown.”

A recent Wall Street Journal article pointed out that the Farm Belt is not expanding quickly enough into organics to meet growing consumer demand. Consequently, producers are going abroad for commodities

This leads me to ask, where have all the organic farmers gone? Continue reading “Where have all the farmers gone?”

Environment, Organic Policy and Regulations, What is Organic

Embracing the WHY: A path to inspiration and growth

Non GMO FlowerMost days we are actively engaged in running our businesses, maintaining what we do with the greatest of care and efficiency. We utilize metrics, milestones and deliverables as incentives to create profitable businesses. We employ specialized individuals who are experts in their field that help drive our businesses with new technologies and technical prowess.  As business people we know what to do and how to do it, but do we understand and fully communicate the WHY? Continue reading “Embracing the WHY: A path to inspiration and growth”

Organic Policy and Regulations, What is Organic

Great Expectations—A Story of Organic Odyssey and Ecstasy

  Organic Fruit It’s been nearly 37 years since I was first introduced to organic foods at a co-op in Iowa. Up until then, I’d lived almost exclusively on packaged foods and sodas. This was something new, something meaningful and something I wanted to be a part of.

Back then, the burgeoning years of the organic movement held great promise and excitement. We were creating a movement, possibly changing the world. I became a passionate advocate for eating organic food and easing the chemical burden our soils and streams were enduring from conventional agriculture. Continue reading “Great Expectations—A Story of Organic Odyssey and Ecstasy”

Organic Policy and Regulations, What is Organic

OTA Facilitates Discussion on an Organic Research and Promotion Program

Capitol HillIn 2012, the size of the U.S. organic sector reached 35 billion dollars a year, with an estimated 10% growth rate. According to OTA’s 2013 Organic Industry Survey, the industry has grown from 9 billion dollars a year in 2002 when the USDA National Organic Program was established. (Farm-gate sales of organic crops reached 3.53 billion dollars in 2011 from 3.6 million certified acres (according to USDA’s NASS 2011 Certified Organic Production Survey). Eighty-one percent of U.S. families now report buying some organic products at least occasionally (according to OTA’s 2013 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study). While the sector has experienced healthy growth, a number of critical factors create the need for investment in public education and promotion as well as research. Continue reading “OTA Facilitates Discussion on an Organic Research and Promotion Program”