A new report from the Organic Trade Association shows that the US organic industry grew at a rate of nearly eight percent in 2010, bucking the current trend whereby “flat is the new growth” for many other segments of the economy.
In fact, some sectors of the organic market enjoyed annual growth of well over 30 percent, reports the OTA in its 2011 Organic Industry Survey. In 2010, the organic industry grew to over $28.6 billion.
“While total U.S. food sales grew by less than one percent in 2010, the organic food industry grew by 7.7 percent,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s CEO and executive director (pictured). “Consumers continue to vote with their dollars in favour of the organic choice. These results illustrate the positive contribution organic agriculture and trade make to our economy, and particularly to rural livelihoods,” Bushway said.
She added, “The good news is that even as the economic recovery crawls forward, the organic industry is thriving – and hiring.” In 2010, 40 percent of surveyed organic companies reported positive full-time employment growth.
Experiencing the most growth, organic fruits and vegetables, which represent 39.7 percent of total organic food value, and nearly 12 percent of all US fruit and vegetable sales, reached nearly $10.6 billion in 2010, up 11.8 percent from 2009 performance. Organic dairy, the second-largest category, experienced nine percent growth to achieve a value of $3.9 billion, and captured nearly six percent of the total U.S. market for dairy products.
In the organic non-food sector, organic supplements led, with a value of $681 million, representing 7.4 percent growth over 2009 figures. Organic fibre (linen and clothing) totaled a value of $605 million, achieving 16 percent year-over-year growth. Personal care products, at $490 million, increased 6.6 percent from 2009.
• The 63-page report is now available for purchase, priced at $795 for OTA members and $1,495 for non-members. Orders can be placed online or by contacting Angela Jagiello. The report’s Executive Summary is available to members of the media on request by contacting Barbara Haumann.