An organic trade advisor who has worked for decades to open the global world of organic and act as an important organic ambassador both domestically and internationally, an organic grape grower and winemaker with unwavering commitment to organic advocacy and community, and an unlikely entrepreneur who has built a booming business around sprouting organic flours and grains to start a new trend for the organic industry will each be honored with a 2017 Organic Trade Association Leadership Award.
The U.S. organic sector stayed on its upward trajectory in 2016, gaining new market share and shattering records, as consumers across the United States ate and used more organic products than ever before, according to the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) 2017 Organic Industry Survey.
Organic sales in the U.S. totaled approximately $47 billion in 2016, reflecting new sales of almost $3.7 billion from the previous year.
In response to the discovery of fraudulent imports of soybeans from Turkey that violated federal organic regulations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Organic Program (NOP) in June revoked the organic certification of Beyaz Agro—a major Turkish grain exporter. The soybeans in question had been fumigated with aluminum phosphide—a prohibited substance under USDA’s National Organic Program—prior to arrival in the United Sates, yet were sold here as organic.
In late 2016, more than 500 organic operations, from organic fruit and vegetable growers, grains and oilseed farmers, livestock and poultry producers, dairy farmers, organic processors, and food makers across 45 states, participated in a comprehensive farm bill survey conducted by the Organic Trade Association (OTA).
I read with interest the May Washington Post article about shipments of corn and soybeans from Turkey that arrived in the United States labeled organic, but that clearly were not. The article raised important issues about organic supply chains and certification documents, but it raised a more fundamental issue as well: when there is an opportunity for added value in a supply chain, how can we make sure farmers, and not unscrupulous middlemen, reap these rewards?
After many years of dialog, there is a proposed research and promotion check-off program designed just for ORGANIC. All that’s needed now is YOUR comment to USDA supporting this game-changing initiative.
Ardent Mills has expanded its producer program to a total of seven U.S. states and a Canadian Province while adding more organic certified milling and packaging locations along with storage since announcing efforts to help U.S. wheat growers double organic wheat acres last December.
The year 2016 yielded an impressive number of research projects of interest to the organic community, with studies coming out highlighting the environmental and health benefits of organic.
An update from The Organic Center
A trusted source of information about scientific research concerning organic food and farming, The Organic Center covers up-to-date studies on sustainable agriculture and health, and collaborates with academic and governmental institutions to fill gaps in our knowledge. The Organic Center also works to make the science of organic accessible to food producers so that they, in turn, can make organic food accessible to people of all walks of life.