By Sustainable Food News December 28, 2015
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) on Monday released its top 10 milestones for 2015, including the drive for an organic research and promotion check-off program.
The top 10 organic developments in 2015:
1) Organic sales boomed. OTA’s 2015 Organic Industry Survey showed organic sales in the U.S. in 2014 reaching a new record of $39.1 billion. Organic food sales hit $35.9 billion, up 11 percent from the previous year. Sales of organic non-food products shot up 14 percent to $3.2
billion. Organic food sales made up nearly 5 percent of all U.S. food sales, and for the first time traditional retailers sold 50 percent of the total volume of organic products. Online, the number of shoppers buying organic doubled. Eating out, organic lovers found organic on the menus of their favorite casual and even fast-food restaurants.
2) Organic industry moved forward on a trail-blazing organic check-off. In a ground-breaking move for the nation’s organic sector, OTA petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture to begin steps to conduct a vote on an organic research and promotion check-off program. The action reflected three years of dialogue with the organic sector to craft a check-off tailor-made for organic. The move to collectively invest in its future represented a game-changing move by organic stakeholders, and would enable the sector to raise funds to boost organic research, promote the organic brand, and increase organic acreage in the United States.
3) Organic standards were tightened and improved. In a four-day public meeting in the fall, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommended the removal of an unprecedented eleven materials from organic’s National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. NOSB’s action reflected the innovations made in organic practices that have enabled the use of fewer and fewer synthetic inputs. Once the recommendations are approved by the National Organic Program, these materials will no longer be allowed in producing, processing or handling organic food.
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