USDA Seeks Comments on Organic Check-Off

Kelly Marshall

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is moving forward with a proposal for a nationwide check-off program for the organic industry. The USDA announced a public comment period for what is referred to as GRO Organic (Generic Research and Promotion Order for Organic) earlier this week. Commenters have until March 20 to weigh in on the topic. As it currently stands, all …

Organic, USDA

USDA Reports Big Growth in Organic Certification

Kelly Marshall

Certified organic operations continue to increase significantly, according to the latest numbers from the USDA.  Growth is seeing a double-digit trend, with 21,781 certified operations in the U.S. and 31,160 world-wide. “Organic food is one of the fasting growing segments of American agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “As consumer demand for organic products continues to grow, the USDA organic …

Agribusiness, Food, Organic, USDA

Clif Bar & NYFC Address Shortage of New Farmers

Jamie Johansen

The American farmer is near 60 and new young farmers are in critical short supply, Clif Bar & Company and the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) announced a joint effort to support pending federal legislation that would remove one of the key obstacles preventing young farmers from starting to farm — student loan debt. “We are a generation of farmers …

Ag Group, Farming, Organic, Video

Hungry for Food-Based Information

Joanna Schroeder

According to a new report from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, although Americans do find GMOs, antibiotics, sustainability and transparency important, they are most concerned with affordability, nutrition and food safety. This survey found that Americans care a great deal about how their food is produced: a full 78 percent of Americans say they are “very” or “somewhat” interested …

Food, Food Security, GMO, Nutrition, Organic, Research

More Growers Needed to Meet Specialty Food Demand

Joanna Schroeder

According to a new report, “Beyond Organic: The Revolution in Consumer Food Expectations,” specialty foods are here to stay. The report looked at consumer preferences and purchase habits of specialty foods including gluten free and ethically produced (non-GMO, antibiotic, hormone free, etc.). According to co-author Peter Walter, consumers are particularly committed to certain types of specialty, or organic foods. For …

Agribusiness, Food, Organic, Research

Organic Trade Association Petitions for Checkoff

Chuck Zimmerman

The Organic Trade Association, along with the GRO Organic Core Committee, has formally petitioned the USDA to begin steps to conduct a vote on and implement a research and promotion check-off program for the organic industry. You can read an executive summary of the proposal here (pdf). OTA’s action reflects three years of dialogue with the entire organic sector and …

Ag Group, Organic, USDA

USDA: Number of Organic Producers Hits Record

John Davis

The number of organic producers in the U.S. has hit a record. This news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says there are 19,474 certified organic operations in the United States and a total of 27,814 certified organic operations around the world. According to data released by the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP), the number …

Organic, USDA

MOSES Organic Farming Conference

Jamie Johansen

The MOSES Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, Wis. this weekend had record attendance, illustrating the dramatic growth of organic agriculture. More than 3,500 people participated in the 26th annual conference, organized by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). The MOSES Conference included 67 workshops, 10 pre-conference all-day courses, an exhibit hall with 177 vendors, and organic meals. …

Ag Group, Organic

ZimmComm Partner Authors Organic Report

Cindy Zimmerman

Our own Joanna Schroeder was the principal researcher for a recent research report published in Academics Review, “Organic Marketing Report,” findings of which she presented at the Western Plant Health Association annual meeting in Palm Desert, California. Joanna’s research found no scientific consensus to prove the organic marketing industry’s claims that organic food is more nutritious and safer than traditional …

Food, Organic