Organic Week in Brief: Five Need-to-Knows


Move Over Four Leaf Clover, Organics is the New Luck of the Irish

More than 90 percent of Irish Shoppers buy organic produce at least once per week, according Andrew Doyle, minister of state for agriculture and food.  For Ireland, the United Kingdom was a significant market for organic produce.  As long as both countries continue to conform to harmonized EU standards, Doyle is hopeful that disruption can be avoided.  Click here for the full Irish Times article.

How to Get More Health Conscious Shoppers in Your Store

Health conscious consumers are not only changing what they shop for but also how and where they shop.  According to the 2017 Market LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability Health and Natural Consumer Survey Study), health conscious consumers surveyed say that they are influenced by health and the environment and they are voting with their wallets.  Survey highlights include:

  • 64 percent are influenced in where they shop by the selection of healthy organics
  • 62 percent are influenced by store quality and food practices
  • 58 percent are influenced by store prices and specials
  • they are choosing to buy products aligned with their health and environmental priorities
  • they are looking for labels with fewer ingredients and ingredient names they can pronounce
  • 73 percent shop the store’s perimeter
  • 68 percent look for local and regional products
  • “fresh”, “organic”, and “non-GMO” are triggers for purchases
  • health, nutrition and the environment motivate buying plant-based products
Ocean Mist

The survey is in its eleventh year.  Learn more at http://www.marketlohas.com/

Which State Ranks Second For Most Organic Farms in the U.S?

California is number one----but who is number two------Surprisingly, it’s Wisconsin, according to data from the USDA National Organic Program.  California has twice as many organic farms than Wisconsin, with 2,637 organic farms, accounting for 21 percent of certified organic farms in the country.  While dairy processing is well-established in Wisconsin, processing for organic meat, poultry and vegetables is the state’s biggest roadblock. For more details, click here.

Who’s Really Selling the Most Organics?

Costco outsold Whole Foods last year in organics.  Costco reports organic food sales for 2016 as $4 billion as compared to a reported $3.6 billion sold by Whole Foods.  An article in Well + Good, a lifestyle and wellness publication founded in 2010, suggests that while other retailers thought organic was just a fad, Costco was among those, like Whole Foods, who felt otherwise and invested in the category.  Now, Costco’s strategy includes investing in its own farmland, making loans to farmers who transition to organics and even promoting brands like “Back to the Roots” in its magazine that aren’t yet ready to appear in stores.  To learn more, go to the Well + Good Website

Wholesum Family Farms

The Lists Are Out – Which Produce Items Does EWG Call ‘Naughty’ and ‘Nice”?

On Wednesday, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its “Clean Fifteen” and the “Dirty Dozen”, annual lists of what it calls the best and worst produce items based on its tests for pesticide residues.  EWG’s website states that their lists are based on tests of 36,000 samples taken by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) personnel.  For the report go to the EWG website.

Organic Produce Network (OPN)
AweSum Organics
Organic Grower Summit
Happiest Place on Earth Hosts Healthiest Industry on Earth: SEPC Southern Exposure

Happiest Place on Earth Hosts Healthiest Industry on Earth: SEPC Southern Exposure


The theme of SEPC’s 2017 Southern Exposure was appropriately titled “The Magic of Produce”.  Held in Orlando, information-driven conference sessions and a sold-out Expo focused on new, exciting and even magical aspects of being part of the produce industry. 

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In Their Words: Mark Lipson, an Original Organic Advocate

In Their Words: Mark Lipson, an Original Organic Advocate


Mark Lipson is a well-known organic agriculture advocate and farmer.  For the past 34 years, he has been a partner at Santa Cruz-based Molino Creek Farming Collective.   Lipson was the first paid staff member at California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and served as policy director at the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF). 

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Laura Batcha, CEO, Exec. Dir., Organic Trade Association, Spearheads the GRO Organic Assessment

Laura Batcha, CEO, Exec. Dir., Organic Trade Association, Spearheads the GRO Organic Assessment


Last week, we dug into the proposal, assessment and funding for the GRO Organic Assessment. This week, we discuss the important details of assessment with Laura Batcha, whom has spearheaded GRO Organic from the beginning. 

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Tonya Networks with Fellow Organic Pioneers at Expo West

Tonya Networks with Fellow Organic Pioneers at Expo West


Tonya Antle had a jammed packed agenda during the 37th annual Natural Products Expo West, the world’s largest natural products show, attracting nearly 80,000 attendees to the Anaheim Convention Center.

 

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Why You Should Provide Your Comments to USDA on GRO Organic

Why You Should Provide Your Comments to USDA on GRO Organic


By Melody Meyer, vice president of policy and industry relations, United Natural Foods (UNFI)

Like it or not, we are well into a new year and a new federal government. Despite the many changes and sometimes uncertain paths, I believe the organic community is poised for growth.  And I believe that growth will be greater if we decide to adopt an organic check-off program.

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Wholesum Family Farms
Organic Produce Network (OPN)
AweSum Organics
Organic Grower Summit