Weekly Top 5: Organic News You Need to Know
1. California Lemon Season Looks Strong
Unlike last year’s gap in the market, this winter’s lemon season is even and constant in supply.
“It’s been a good year. We didn’t have the gap that we had last year,” says Allison Bennett with organic foodservice distributor Ace Natural Inc. in Long Island City, NY, noting the gap was between the Mexican supply season and the California supply.
2. Next Farm Bill for Organics is Either ‘Retreat’ or ‘Breakthrough’
With just about nine months before the expiration of the current farm bill - the nearly $500 billion amalgam of agriculture-related laws revamped every five years - industry forces, including organics, are already jockeying for preference on the lists of federal legislators' priorities.
According to the Organic Farming Research Foundation's (OFRF) senior policy and program specialist, Mark Lipson, and its policy associate, Michael Stein, "much is at stake in the upcoming 2018 farm bill."
3. Elon Musk’s Brother is Helping Millennials Quit Their Desk Jobs and Become Farmers
Millennials are changing the face, and practices, of farming. According to the USDA's most recent census of farmers from 2012, the number of principal farmers between the ages of 25 and 34 increased 2.2 percent from five years before.
In addition, a new survey by the National Young Farmer Coalition finds that millennial farmers are different from previous generations: they are more likely to be college-educated, not come from farming families, use sustainable practices and produce organic food.
Among those recruiting millennial foodies into farming is Kimbal Musk, brother of tech billionaire Elon Musk. His project Square Roots is an accelerator incubating vertical farming startups inside a shipping container in Brooklyn.
4. ‘Nation’s Largest Organic Seed Event’ to Take Place this February
Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), along with co-hosts Washington State University, Oregon State University, and eOrganic, will hold the 9th Organic Seed Growers Conference in Corvallis, Oregon, from February 14-17, 2018. The conference features more than 60 experts in the fields of organic seed production, breeding, and policy. The gathering includes a full agenda of presentations, panel discussions, and networking events around the theme of Synergy that Sustains, emphasizing the important role that collaborative networks play in advancing organic seed.
5. Hartbeat's Food & Beverage Culture Year in Review, 2017, Shows Strength of Consumers
According to The Hartman Group, which was revealed in its Hartbeat’s Food & Beverage Culture Year in Review, 2017, the highlights of the year once again coalesced around consumers as change agents as they expect more from food and beverage manufacturers, retailers and restaurant operators.
"For the Organic space, I think the demand side will continue to increase. Fact is, the consumer continues to be more and more educated and vocal about the food chain."
The $650 billion brick-and-mortar retail grocery experience has not changed materially, despite the rapid pace of disruption occurring in sectors all around it. Grocery stores are still organized functionally rather than according to shoppers’ need states. This leaves a big opportunity for another model to offer a more satisfying answer to the near daily need: “What’s for dinner?”Read More
OPN recently spoke with Erica Renaud, Ph.D., Regional Business Manager, North America at Vitalis Organic Seeds. Vitalis produces nearly 500 certified organic varieties distributed in over 35 countries, ensuring regional adaptation of premium genetics through 12 local research stations around the world.Read More
Speaking at the sold-out inaugural Organic Grower Summit , Miles McEvoy has a unique vantage point from which to address the world of organic produce — having recently retired from his role as Deputy Administrator for the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP).Read More