U.S. Sales of Organics up 11.5%!!

U.S. Sales of Organics up 11.5%!!U.S. Sales of Organics up 11.5%!!

Talk about a growth industry, and I’m not just talking seeds to plants here.  According to the Organic Trade Association, this robust growth rate is forecast to keep pace for the next two years or more.  According to Laura Batcha, Executive Director and Chief Executive of the OTA, “Consumers are making the correlation between what we eat and our health, and that knowledge is spurring heightened consumer interest in organic products.”

Where else in our economy do you see almost 12% of growth? The non-organic food system is only seeing 3% increase.  Organic fruits and vegetables are up 15% at $11.6 billion. Parents will be happy to hear that organic snack foods are also up 15%. Organic condiments are up a whopping 17%.

This creates a wonderful economic opportunity for our veterans who are developing organic food businesses, in addition to the more traditional farming ventures.  “Value-added” products are when tomatoes become Ketchup, milk becomes cheese, cherries become jam … when you ‘add value’ to the crop. This is far more lucrative for farmers than simply growing and selling the raw material.  (But it’s a lot more effort with endless regulations.)

At our recent screening in Berkeley with the Farmer Veteran Coalition, the rave of the evening was, Navy veteran and beekeeper, Frank Golbeck’s Golden Coast Mead.   Honey wine that literally smells like flower fields. We were taste-testing two varieties — my vote goes to the Orange Blossom Mead.  Plus, all Frank’s hives are pollinating the organic orchards of San Diego county!

All I have to say is … “Keep it up folks!”  Let’s keep voting with our wallets and our forks to create kind of food system we want, one that nourishes both people and planet.

 

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