USDA Reports Growth in Organic Operations and Consumer Interest in Local Food
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced double-digit growth in the number of organic operations in the U.S. — a 12 percent increase between 2014 and 2015. According to the USDA, there has been a 300 percent increase in organic farms since 2002 and the total retail market for organic products is now valued at $39 billion in the United States.
The USDA also noted that consumer interest in locally grown foods has continued to increase. Current industry estimates indicate that U.S. local food sales totaled at least $12 billion in 2014. In 2008, this figure was $5 billion.
The USDA has a number of online resources available for California avocado growers interested in organic production. The USDA organic agriculture webpage provides:
- Information concerning the organic certification process
- Organic fact sheets and a blog
- Financial resources
- Links to production and conservation assistance
- Economic and market information
- Crop insurance resources
- Assistance with exporting organic products