USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced nearly $12 million in organic certification assistance is available through the department in order to make certification more affordable for organic producers and handlers in the US.
As part of its second quarter earnings release, Whole Foods Market announced its plans to open a new chain of stores targeting millennial shoppers and offering lower prices as competition over natural and organic products from other chains increases.
The organic industry continues to show rapid growth both domestically and globally with 19,474 certified organic operations in the US and a total of 27,814 certified organic operations around the world, according to USDA.
Organic foods were a big draw for US consumers in 2014 as sales of organic products jumped up 11 percent to $39 billion, a record for the industry, according to the annual Organic Trade Association (OTA) survey.
A coalition of15 major players in the organic food industry—including producers, farmers, consumer, environmental and certification groups—filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging USDA violated the federal rulemaking process.
The state of the organic industry is filled with opportunities, but equally plagued with a host of challenges, according to Laura Batcha, Organic Trade Association executive director and CEO who spoke at the Natural Products Expo East trade show last week.