Organic Week in Brief: Five Need-to-Knows


New Study Reveals Why Retailers Sell Organic Food

Retail stores study the socioeconomic characteristics of the neighborhoods they serve in order to decide whether to sell organic food or not, according to a new study by New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Of course, organic food is also affected by what’s available, the size of the store and what items actually sell.

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Researchers visited 1,256 Manhattan stores looking for a list of 24 organic foods. They found 60 percent of stores had zero of the items and only five percent had half or more of the items. They then mapped the stores and found the correlation with the socioeconomic statistics for each neighborhood. The five percent which sold half or more of the organic list were those with higher income and education levels for the neighborhood. The study was published in the Journal of Food Products Marketing. Why do retailers sell organic foods? Follow the money.

Are "Natural Foods" Undermining Organic?

According to the Hartman Report, greater access to private label organic products and the growth of the natural market have provided consumers with options that could dilute the “purity” and the price organic foods have enjoyed in the growth phase. Hartman Group’s research since the 1990s has helped growers and retailers alike stay ahead of trends. The new syndicated research report for 2016 explores key distinctions between organic and natural and continues to document the changing landscape of the organic and natural marketplace and culture. To learn more about the report: Organic & Natural 2016

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European Organic Market Continues to Outgrow Organic Farmland

The organic market continues to grow in Europe. From 2014 to 2015, the organic market grew 13 percent and organic farmland grew 8.2 percent. While the organic market continues to grow faster than organic farmland, land did grow more in 2015 than in past years. Almost a million hectares of organic farmland were added, says a survey by Research Institute of Organic Agriculture and the Agricultural Market Information Company. Organic in Europe: Organic market grows by double digits

USDA 2016 Organic Survey – Your Help Needed

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If you grow certified organic produce, you should have received a copy of the survey from USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). While completing the survey is voluntary, OPN urges you to do so as this information is critical to having the ability to know and share the impact of certified organic agriculture has in the U.S. The information is confidential and will be used as aggregated data. 2016 Certified Organic Survey News Release

Produce is Being Lasered in Sweden

Yes, you read it right. Swedish chain ICA is using low-energy carbon dioxide laser to brand produce – essentially removing the pigment from the skin to mark the produce with its name, country of origin and code. The technology doesn’t pierce the skin and does not harm the product, while helping reduce waste from stickers and packaging. Swedish Supermarket Tests Lasers To Label Organic Produce

Organic Produce Network (OPN)
Organic Grower Summit
To GRO or Not to GRO

To GRO or Not to GRO


Largely unnoticed by the organic produce industry, one of the largest---and most important---efforts ever to raise funds for organic research and promotion is becoming more visible. OPN is taking a look at the USDA marketing order impacting organic fresh fruit and vegetable producers, handlers and retailers. Today is Part I of an overview of the GRO Organic Program.

What Is GRO Organic?

The Organic Trade Association, in collaboration with the GRO Organic Core Committee, has formally petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a research and promotion check-off program for organic products, including fresh produce, dairy, meat, grain and processed organic foods (wines, for example). Under the GRO order, growers, handlers and importers of organic products will be assessed a fee and pool these resources to conduct research and promotion activities.

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In Their Words - Fresh Start: Mark Carroll

In Their Words - Fresh Start: Mark Carroll


Mark Carroll, VP of Merchandising for Produce and Floral, The Fresh Market, Discusses His New Job and All Things Organic Produce

OPN Connect:  Mark, you have moved from California to North Carolina with your new position at The Fresh Market.  How do you see the landscape of organic fresh produce today?

Mark Carroll:  From a retailer’s perspective, the growth of organic, fresh produce at the retail store has been driven by retailers of all sizes, but the most significant growth has come from larger retail chains. The sheer volume of a larger retailer has increased the demand of organics and I see this continuing to grow as the demand over the last few years has far exceeded the supply of fresh organics.

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First Ever Organic Grower Summit Announced


Organic Produce Summit

The Organic Produce Network (OPN) and California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) are teaming up to host the first-ever Organic Grower Summit (OGS) in Monterey, California on December 13 -14, 2017

The OGS will bring together the entire organic production chain as well as service and supply partners at one informative event. Organic growers, producers and handlers from fresh produce, dairy, meat and grain sectors will have the opportunity to network and learn with suppliers, service providers, packaging and technology companies, equipment manufacturers and other companies critical to their success.

“CCOF growers look forward to this rare opportunity to network with each other and with other organic sector leaders and innovators,” says CCOF CEO Cathy Calfo, “Growers are key to meeting the demand for organic products and grower-driven events like this summit are important to their success.”

Following an opening night networking reception on December 13, informative and educational sessions on core issues related to organic production start a full day of thought-provoking and inspiring presentations the next day. Keynote talks by industry leaders and a trade show floor with exhibitors from packaging, technology and related service providers crucial to organic production success will round out the day.

“There is a tremendous appetite for information and education as it relates to organic food production and we are thrilled to be partnering with the nation’s leading organic certification organization to bring together the various facets of the organic production community under one roof to exchange ideas and information that will make our industry stronger, “said Matt Seeley, cofounder of OPN.

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Peeling Back the Label: Organic, Natural and Local


OPN Connect is pleased to introduce our first contributor, Melody Meyer, vice president of corporate social responsibility, policy and industry relations for United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI). Melody has been in the organic food industry since 1976 and is a founding member of the Alliance of Organic Food Funders and an active member of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders.

Follow her Blog at www.organicmattersblog.com.

Peeling Back the Label: Organic, Natural and Local
by Melody Meyer

Walking down a typical food aisle can be a daunting experience—a cacophony of seductive labels resounding from every shelf—these missives entice you to make purchases based on a feeling. Buying that product will make you feel healthier, sexier or perhaps a sense of pride that you are somehow protecting humankind and the environment. Food labels are powerful instruments that determine our purchasing habits unwittingly as we fill our baskets with hopes and emotions. With so many labels vying for our attention, it’s high time we peeled back the truth to see what’s really behind some of our most popular food labels.

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Top Organic Drivers in Fresh


Do you know what the top drivers in 2016 are? How does your product rank?

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Organic Produce Summit Announces Retail Roundtable as Keynote Presentation

Organic Produce Summit Announces Retail Roundtable as Keynote Presentation


Organic Produce Summit Announces Retail Roundtable as Keynote Presentation

Registration is limited and attendees are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible as OPS anticipates another sold-out event.

 

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