U.S. Organic Market Continues to Grow

According to the Organic Trade Commission, the United States organic industry grew by a robust 9.5% and reached a mark of $31.5 billion in sales for 2011. Both organic food and non-food products sustained a similar level of healthy growth, with the former comprising $29.2 billion of the organic market. What could be the reason for this growth? According to Christine Bushway, CEO of the OTA, “Consumers are increasingly engaged and discerning when they shop, making decisions based on their values…it matters whether foods are genetically engineered” This logic seems to have some validity, as the organic industry outpaced the growth of conventional farming, which saw a 2011 growth of 4.7%. The fact that the organic industry is growing at double the rate of conventional farming despite its disadvantages in price and accessibility shows that organic products must have an allure that is only growing. And hope for further growth in 2012 and beyond is high, with “94 percent of organic operations nationwide planning to maintain or increase employment in 2012”, according to Bushway.