Friday, June 26, 2009

Organic Farming is a Growth Industry

If you're unemployed, searching for a job, or some way to make a living during these touch economic times, consider this:

From: WIRED - January 2007



The Coming Organic Crisis
The US consumes far more pesticide-free food than it produces.

Americans are gaga for organic grub - but the nation's farmers can't meet burgeoning demand. The US already imports more than 10 percent of the organic food we eat according to the Department of Agriculture, and as corporations like Wal-Mart bring organics to the masses, rising demand will continue to put pressure on supply. That means those premium prices on chemical-free foods are unlikely to plummet any time soon. Until more producers alter their practices, get used to shelling out $3 for a dozen organic eggs. 

AMERICANS BUY NEARLY HALF OF THE PLANET'S ORGANIC FOOD - AND DON'T GROW ENOUGH OF IT:

U.S. FARMLAND
Organic: 0.2%
Traditional: 99.8%

U.S. FOOD CONSUMPTION
Organic: 2.5%
Traditional: 97.5%



WORLDWIDE ORGANIC FOOD SUPPLY
Share consumed by the rest of the world: 58%
Share consumed by the U.S.: 42%

U.S. ORGANIC FOOD SALES
1997: $3.60
2005: $13.00

U.S. ORGANIC IMPORTS AND EXPORTS (2002)
IMPORTS: $1.38
EXPORTS: $0.28



U.S. SALES BY ORGANIC PRODUCTS BY TYPE (2005)
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: $5.48
DAIRY: $2.18
BEVERAGES: $1.98
PACKAGED AND PREPARED FOODS: $1.48
BREAD AND GRAINS: $1.49
SNACK FOODS: $0.78
SAUCES AND CONDIMENTS: $0.38
MEAT, FISH, AND POULTRY: $0.38

Figures are most current available. Sources: Nutrition Business Journal, Organic Monitor, Organic Trade Association. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture

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http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/20090506/nf1
U.S. organic food sales surge 16% in 2008, despite economic slowdown

Despite predictions of a slump in organic demand due to economic distress in the consumer sector, sales of organic food in the U.S. grew by 15.8 percent in 2008.

“Organic products represent value to consumers, who have shown continued resilience in seeking out these products. This marks another milestone for the organic food market,” according to Christine Bushway, executive director of the Organic Trade Association.


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http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Financial-Industry/US-organics-buck-recessionary-trend
US organics buck recessionary trend
05-May-2009
US sales of organic food have surged despite dire predictions for its resilience as consumers look for ways to cut spending, according to a new survey on American organics. During 2008, sales were up 15.8 percent on the year before, according to a survey carried out by the Lieberman Research Group on behalf of the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Predictions for organic product sales have been gloomy, with market researchers foreseeing a slump in more pricy goods, including organic food. But this has not been the case, the OTA said. OTA’s executive director Christine Bushway said: “Organic products represent value to consumers, who have shown continued resilience in seeking out these products. This marks another milestone for the organic food market.”

This view echoes a host of other studies carried out recently by market researchers looking into the importance of consumers’ perception of value, suggesting that the concept encompasses quality as well as price.
This latest survey found that organic food accounted for about 3.5 percent of US food sales last year, with a total value of $22.9bn. Additionally, organic food sales grew at a much faster rate than general US food sales, which grew by 4.9 percent during the year – or about a third as much as organics.
Global contrast
The findings stand in contrast to global organic market reports, which have pointed to a freeze on growth in the organic food sector. Mintel, for example, has predicted “slowing but steady growth” in the years ahead, while the UK organic sector experienced a sober 1.7 percent growth rate during 2008 as British consumers switched to cheaper organics, according to a report from UK organic organization The Soil Association. It said it was cheered by even this rate of growth, however, as it suggested that consumers would still prefer to buy organics, rather than conventionally produced products.

Organic sales breakdown
In the US, fruit and vegetables still represent the biggest sub-sector of organic food sales at 37 percent, followed by beverage and dairy at 14 percent each. Areas of fastest growth include the organic beverage sector, which grew by 40 percent in 2008, and organic breads and grains, which achieved 35 percent growth over the year.
The OTA research comes just weeks after the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would be conducting its own survey of the organic sector from a farming perspective, the first large-scale national survey of its kind. USDA’s results are due to be published in the coming winter.

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http://www.environmentalleader.com/2009/05/06/us-organic-sales-up-by-171/
MAY 6, 2009
U.S. Organic Food/Bev Sales Up by 17.1%
U.S. sales of organic food and non-food products reached $24.6 billion in 2008, growing 17.1 percent over 2007 sales, despite tough economic times, according to a new study by the Organic Trade Association (OTA).
The 2009 Organic Industry Survey, conducted by Lieberman Research Group on behalf of OTA, measured the growth of U.S. sales of organic foods and beverages, and non-food products such as organic fibers, personal care products and pet foods in 2008.
Key findings show that organic food sales grew in 2008 by 15.8 percent to reach $22.9 billion, while organic non-food sales grew by 39.4 percent to reach $1.648 billion. These growth rates indicate that organic sales are growing faster than the rate of growth for conventional food products. Although still a small percentage of all food sales, organic sales account for approximately 3.5 percent of all food product sales in the United States, according to the study.
This is in contrast to two earlier studies. Market research firm NPD Group reported that the number of people buying organic products fell 4 percent in August 2008, compared with 2007. A survey conducted by Information Resources in late 2008 revealed that nearly half of respondents said they were purchasing fewer organic products because they were too expensive.
The OTA study also finds that the fruit and vegetable category accounts for the largest portion of organic food sales, representing 37 percent of total organic food sales in 2008. The second largest categories are beverage and dairy, representing just over 14 percent each. The strongest growth in 2008 is in the categories of breads and grains (35 percent over 2007) and beverages (40 percent).
The full report is available for purchase.

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