Start Date

2-12-2004 12:00 AM

Description

According to the USDA Economic Research Service, Iowa ranks fifth in the U.S. in terms of organic production acres (USDA-ERS, 2004). The U.S. organic industry continues to grow at a rate of 20% annually (OTA, 2004) and is currently a $13 billion industry. Projected growth puts U.S. organic sales at $20 billion by 2006. There were approximately 100,000 acres of organic production reported to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS, 2003). This figure reflects only acreage reported by those farmers who returned their survey; thus, more acres are believed to go unreported. This increase in organic acreage represents a four-fold increase since 1993. The organic industry is a consumer-driven market based on consumers' belief that organic products are safer for human consumption and beneficial to the environment (Bourne, 1999). Researchers have found 52% more conventional produce on U.S. supermarket shelves containing pesticide residues compared with the organic produce (Consumers Union, 1999). What is driving the growth of organic products in the European Union and Asia is a uniform dislike of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in food (OTA, 2004). The National Organic Program of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service developed national organic standards starting in October 2002 (USDA-AMS, 2004). Certified organic producers are required to undergo third-party certification prior to reaping the premium price of organic products. Certification will verify that synthetic chemicals, including GMO seeds, have not been used for a minimum of 36 months prior to harvest.

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Dec 2nd, 12:00 AM

Marketing Opportunities for Organic and Non-GMO Crops

According to the USDA Economic Research Service, Iowa ranks fifth in the U.S. in terms of organic production acres (USDA-ERS, 2004). The U.S. organic industry continues to grow at a rate of 20% annually (OTA, 2004) and is currently a $13 billion industry. Projected growth puts U.S. organic sales at $20 billion by 2006. There were approximately 100,000 acres of organic production reported to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS, 2003). This figure reflects only acreage reported by those farmers who returned their survey; thus, more acres are believed to go unreported. This increase in organic acreage represents a four-fold increase since 1993. The organic industry is a consumer-driven market based on consumers' belief that organic products are safer for human consumption and beneficial to the environment (Bourne, 1999). Researchers have found 52% more conventional produce on U.S. supermarket shelves containing pesticide residues compared with the organic produce (Consumers Union, 1999). What is driving the growth of organic products in the European Union and Asia is a uniform dislike of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in food (OTA, 2004). The National Organic Program of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service developed national organic standards starting in October 2002 (USDA-AMS, 2004). Certified organic producers are required to undergo third-party certification prior to reaping the premium price of organic products. Certification will verify that synthetic chemicals, including GMO seeds, have not been used for a minimum of 36 months prior to harvest.

 

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