OPN Connect Newsletter 48 · January 25, 2018

Weekly Top 5: Organic News You Need to Know 

Wholesum Harvest Introduces New Organic Berry Company

Wholesum Harvest announces the launch of a new company, Wholesum Berries LLC.  The new company will begin distributing organic blueberries and strawberries this year out of Southern California with a goal to add blackberries and raspberries to complete the organic berry line up in the near future.


“Wholesum Berries is a significant opportunity for our growers and will be focused on developing current and anticipated product sales,” says Ricardo Crisantes, COO of Wholesum Harvest.

Learn more here

Bananas and Coconuts Drive Organics Unlimited

Nature Safe

Organics Unlimited experienced larger volumes thanks to increased production acreage and sales were up for organic bananas. Mayra Velazquez de León, president of Organics Unlimited, a San Diego, CA-based grower that specializes in growing organic banana and coconuts, believes most retailers have gotten on board the organic train, as just about every supermarket has an organic section.

“It is a must-have today, it’s no longer an option. If people come into a store and don’t see organic, they may go somewhere else,” she said. “It’s not just a trend; it’s a strong commodity that all retailers now know they have to provide as an option.”

Learn more here

Organic Ag Products

Development of Organic Agriculture in Russia

In Russia, organic agriculture has been steadily growing since the beginning of 2000s. The amount of land used for organic agriculture almost doubled in 2014–15, and as of 2015 amounted to a total of 385,000 hectares of certified organic land. However, despite the overall positive dynamics, Russia’s organic sector remains underdeveloped compared to leading countries in organic production and consumption.

For Russia to become a leading producer of “ecologically clean and high-quality food,” as the president has declared it should, policy interventions aimed at facilitating the country’s development of organic agriculture are needed.

Ocean Mist

Learn more here

Proposed Changes to the NOSB National List

Based on previous public input and recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), on January 17, 2018, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend the National List.

More information on how and why substances are added or removed from the National List is available on The National List page of the AMS website. 

Vertical Startup, Plenty, Building Organic Indoor Farms in China

The vertical farming startup Plenty just announced that it plans to build 300 organic, indoor farms in or near Chinese cities.In late 2017, the company scored $200 million in the largest-ever ag-tech deal. The funding round was led by Softbank Ventures and included DCM Ventures as well as funds that invest on behalf of Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. 

Read more here

"Effective renewable energy employment reduces costs up to 30-50 percent, offers a 7-12 percent internal rate of return, earns a 30 percent federal tax credit among other incentives, fixes energy costs to provide a hedge against rising markets, and enhances brand value especially for an organic producer."

Aaron Enz, Alta Energy

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