California Sets Precedent for Organic in the U.S.
California is among the leading states in the U.S. with the largest amount of organic farmland. In an article entitled, California Organic - A Vision for the Future , the numbers are as such, “California has 21 percent of all certified organic farms in the U.S., representing 40 percent of all farm-gate sales with $12.34 billion in gross organic sales.” Research shows that organic is the fastest growing sector in the U.S. food industry, and California is setting a precedent for the future of organic.
Organic Promotes Economic Growth
California is taking advantage of the consumer demand for organics, and its economy has seen growth with measurable profits collected in taxes and the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs. There are a multitude of Organic Hot Spots or counties that show economic health linked to organic agriculture. The economic opportunities boost household incomes, with a median increase of $2,000 and also reduce the poverty levels as much as 1.35%. It can be concluded that “…organic agriculture [not only] benefits our health and our environment… organic can also benefit our livelihoods and help secure our financial future.” -Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of OTA.
Consumer demand and segment growth requires an increase in production and growers and suppliers are trying to satisfy customer demand. California has recently received federal funding to help build agricultural practices, including organic agriculture. With programs such as the healthy soils initiative to build soil carbon and reduce agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on California’s farms and ranches, the political climate of the state is supportive in building positive agricultural practices. The USDA has also provided California more than $5 million for agriculture innovation. The Los Angeles Times reports, “Nearly a quarter of the funds will go to historically underserved communities such as veterans and new farmers,” according to the article, California to Get More Than $5 Million from USDA for Agricultural Innovation.
Overall, California is building their organic presence and setting an example for those who will be undertaking organic agriculture in the future. Currently, the organic sector has been growing steadily year over year and there is no expectation that this progress will slow any time soon. According to the article, California Organic - A Vision for the Future , California will continue its efforts, “…building that road map and setting goals that will make organic food and organic agriculture the prevailing influence in California and perhaps in the U.S. by 2030.”
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What are your thoughts about the future of organic? Do you foresee the organic market continuing to growth at a rapid rate?