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admin | Category: What Cause Ed | 08.04.2014
According to the 2008 Organic Production Survey (NASS 2010), the United States has 4.1 million acres used for organic production.
The number of certified organic farms, ranches and processing facilities in 2011 totaled 17,281, a 240 percent increase since 2002 (NOP 2012). Organic agriculture has attracted conventional producers, who make the transition due mainly to the price premiums in the market. According to the 2008 Organic Production Survey (NASS 2010), nearly 128,500 acres of cropland and nearly 66,000 acres of pasture are currently being transitioned to organic production.
In terms of sales outlets, the majority, or 82.6 percent, of organic sales were to wholesalers, including processors and distributors. A study conducted by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) surveyed manufacturers, distributors and retailers about the organic industry.
Meat, poultry and fish sales experienced the fastest growth, increasing 13 percent from 2010. Over $2 billion worth of organic fiber, cosmetics and household products were sold in 2011. In June 2009, the joint Canada (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and United States (USDA) regulated organic system, the world’s first reciprocal agreement between two countries, was signed.
As of June 2012, the framework for an organic reciprocal agreement between the United States and the EU was approved, streamlining trade between the two largest organic producers in the world.
Beginning in January 2014, organic products certified in Japan or the United States may be sold as organic in either country. Similar organic trade partnerships are currently being discussed with South Korea and Switzerland (FAS 2013). Canada’s organic market grew to $3.7 billion in 2012, with national sales of certified organic food and non-alcoholic beverages reaching $3 billion. Organics in the United Kingdom (UK) experienced decreases in the amount of organic managed land and organic product sales during 2011, according to the Organic Market Report (2012) published by the Soil Association.
The Australian Organic Market Report 2012, funded by the Biological Farmers of Australia, reported that organic sales are increasingly becoming mainstream, with three out of four organic products being purchased at supermarkets.
Global demand for organic products continued to grow, with sales reaching $59.1 billion US in 2010, according to The World of Organic Agriculture (2012). The World of Organic Agriculture (2012) also provides an overview of organic agriculture around the globe. The total number of organic certification organizations was reported as 549, up from 489 in 2009. Through its two organic certification cost share programs, NOP reimbursed organic farmers and handlers over $6 million during 2011, a 20 percent increase from 2010. In late 2012, the USDA NOP announced a strengthened residue testing program to help increase consumer confidence in the $32 billion organic industry worldwide. In 2010 the United States surpassed the European Union as the largest market for organic products in the world. Rotation of crops prevents disease and maintains fertility; using cover crops like alfalfa pulls free nitrogen right out of the air.
The fact that average levels of nearly a dozen nutrients are 25% higher in organic produce translates to greater calmness, endurance, mobility, allergy-resistance, sharper senses, and a better sex life in the daily lives of consumers – a higher quality of life, not just prevention of heart disease or cancer. Since only two percent of the country’s population now lives on a farm, we don’t think of ourselves as having a direct role in farming, yet we each eat an average of a ton of food every year. Dairy products: Milk, yogurt and cheese are considered healthy bone-strengtheners, especially for children, but the additions of hormones and antibiotics undermine the simple goodness of commercial dairy products. Ketchup: Even besides the pesticide issue, research has shown organic ketchup has nearly double the good-for-you antioxidants of conventional ketchup.
Coffee: Conventional coffee farming relies heavily on pesticide use and contributes to deforestation around the globe.
I recently read that the trees have evolved and began to process more carbon dioxide than 30 years ago.


The health benefits alone are enough to make us want to buy organics, but we still have to consider our budgets.
This is a great time of year to think about the possibility of planting an organic backyard garden.  This year will be my fourth year to have an organic garden and what a wonderful experience it has been! From that very first summer, they were all planting, picking, washing and eating vegetables, and snacking on beans and cucumbers!  We were eating, juicing or blending the majority of all our vegetables from the garden about six months…think of what a huge savings that is to your food budget and how much healthier it is. Organics have continued to expand during the last few years, and industry experts are forecasting steady growth of 9 percent or higher (OTA 2012). While there were organic farms or ranches in all 50 states, nearly 20 percent, or more than 2,500 of the operations, were in California. While transitioning to organics can be confusing, many resources are now available to help producers make the change. Individuals wishing to transition to organic should verify that the agency they select is an approved certifier. Those states transitioning the most cropland to organic production are (in order): Idaho, Montana and Nebraska. There have been a few studies of farm-level, wholesale and retail organic price data, and these have shown significant organic premiums for most fruits, vegetables, grains and milk (ERS 2005). Census Bureau began creating agricultural product trade codes for exported and imported organic products. Organic foods, including fresh products, accounted for 1.7 percent of total food sales nationwide.
The report also found that 65 percent of Australians purchased organic products in the last year, boosting the retail value of organic sales to nearly $1.3 billion AU. This program will provide additional verification that organic farmers are following the rules and not using prohibited substances. According to the Organic Monitor (2010), mergers and acquisitions led to consolidation, with large companies emerging at every level of the supply chain.
As a culture, we don’t yet recognize the difference in quality between organic and conventional food; between conventional and organic growing. Recycling “wastes” like manure, crop residues, and by-products of regional industries, such as coffee roasters or fruit canneries makes full use of existing resources. Those who associate organic food with astrology or hippies may not be aware that the White House chef has routinely served organic food to the Clintons, the Bushes, and now the Obamas.
Farms and ranches still cover more than half our land, and consume three-fourths of our water and 70% percent of our antibiotics. University of Washington researchers analyzed urine samples of 110 preschoolers, only one of whom had no measurable level of pesticides.
Organic farming produces the same yields of corn and soybeans as does conventional farming, but uses 30 percent less energy, a 22-year farming trial study concludes. Organic farming preserves natural habitat in hedgerows, crop diversity, ponds, and forests, while conventional farming typically uses methods (mono-cropping and pesticides) that reduce biodiversity.  Beneficial insects such as bees flourish on organic farms, but often suffer from “colony collapse” on conventional farms. Organic methods of growing crops generate fewer greenhouse emissions, both because energy-intensive fertilizers and pesticides are not used and because organic soil sequesters carbon dioxide. Many studies give strong evidence that produce grown organically promotes non-aggressive behavior in schools and prisons and increases performance on academic exams – largely because of increased nutrient density. It seems logical to choose organic for the foods you eat the most, as well as for the produce that is sprayed most heavily.
For example, although our ancestors hunted and ate far leaner animals than we do — species closer to modern deer and elk than the typical cow – it’s fashionable these days for meat to be fatty and tender, as if the goal of eating was heart disease.
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) regulates all organic agriculture in the United States. Certifiers should be contacted early and often for assistance in complying with their individual requirements and procedures. Those states transitioning the most pasture to organic production are (in order): Texas, Oklahoma and Montana.


Nearly 75 percent of sales were either local or regional (that is, more than 100 miles but less than 500 miles).
The Mintel market research company found that frequent buyers of organics were remaining loyal but likely to purchase cheaper organic products.
Overall, 78 percent of the nearly 1,300 families participating in the study reported they were purchasing organic products, up from 73 percent in 2009.
As of July 1, 2013, the number of trade codes for exported organic products totaled 26 and the number of trade codes for imported organic products totaled 35.
An analysis of the data available for 2011 showed that the 23 commodities being tracked at that time accounted for more than $412 million in export sales, which was about evenly split between fruits and vegetables. As in the United States, fruit and vegetables dominate organic sales, capturing 40 percent of total sales. Fruit and vegetables remained the most comonly purchased item, but the meat sector experienced the largest increase in sales.
Organic farmland increased in Europe; the largest increases were seen in France, Poland and Spain.
For example, the Organic Transition Support provision in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial support to farmers to convert to organic production.
Beginning January 1, 2013, USDA organic certifying agents will test products from at least five percent of the organic farms and businesses that they certify each year. For example, we don’t recognize collectively that it’s more accurate to define the word “organic” by what it is, rather than what it isn’t.
This information-rich way of farming provides habitat for wildlife (which reciprocate with natural pest control); conserves water and helps preserve family farms in rural and metro-edge communities. That one child’s parents ate exclusively organic food and didn’t use pesticides in their home or lawn.  EPA-documented effects in children of exposure to certain pesticides include poorer growth and impact on neurodevelopment.
Markets should be identified, and only certified organic processors and handlers used for organic certification compliance. According to an ERS survey of organic handlers (2008), more than 50 percent of organic sales in 2004 were made either locally or regionally.
Infrequent buyers of organics, on the other hand, were likely to select fewer organic products. Most of the trade codes for organic exports are for fresh fruits or vegetables, while most of the organic import codes are for coffee, olive oil, tea and wine. The report also noted that 83 percent of UK households still buy organic products, with dairy products and fresh fruits and vegetables being the most popular organic products.
On the other hand, organic farmland decreased in Asia, mainly due to large declines in organic farmland in China and India.
Other provisions in the Farm Act boost the funding for organic research, particularly for the development of new, improved seed varieties as well as for the conservation and environmental outcomes of organic practices, and support the expansion of data collection on organic production and marketing. The study also found that 30 percent of the families had only recently begun purchasing organic products. In addition, conventional produce has fewer of the enzymes and minerals that enhance flavor.
Of the organic vegetables analyzed, lettuce, carrots and spinach had the highest export sales. The province of British Columbia has the most developed organic markets, followed by the provinces of Alberta and Ontario. Organic lettuce sales, for example, totaled nearly $85.2 million and comprised about 16 percent of all lettuce exports.



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