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OPN Connect Newsletter 3 · March 17, 2017

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
Nature Safe

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

Organic Ag Products

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.

Ocean Mist

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