Organic Week in Brief: Five Need to Knows


1. 13 Percent Growth in Organic Farms in U.S. From 2015-2016

USDA confirmed that the organic industry continues to grow domestically and globally, with the 2016 count of U.S. certified organic farms and businesses reflecting  a 13 percent increase from the previous year.    The annual increase in the states with the largest numbers of organic are:  CA (8%); WI (10%); NY (21%); PA (37%) and WA (4%).   The complete list of certified organic farms and business is available through USDA’s Organic Integrity Database which is maintained by USDA-accredited certifying agents.

Ocean Mist

2. Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) Asks NOSB to Hold Proposing Seed Regulation Changes

Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), a nonprofit based in Townsend, WA representing the organic seed trade, has asked the National Organic Standards Board for more improvements in the NOSB Crops Committee proposal before the board vote.  OSA commended the NOSB for its effort to strengthen guidance for organic seed procurement in written comments.  Click to see OSA’s written comments

3. USDA Cancels Reimbursement for Transitional Certification Fees

USDA announced that it has canceled the expansion for its Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) because there are no transitional programs established under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990.  The expanded program, debuted in January, was based on standards developed by the Organic Trade Association to enhance domestic production of raw organic ingredients. Learn more about here.

Wholesum Family Farms

4. Leopold Center for Sustainable Ag Faces Shutdown at Iowa State

The Iowa House-Senate agricultural proposals for the 2018 budget would eliminate $400,000 in annual appropriations and reassign $1.5 million in tax revenue from nitrogen fertilizer sales used to fund the renowned research and education center.  The bill slashes the state's general fund budget for agriculture and natural resources programs by 5.6 percent, specifically calls for closure of the center.  Click for the story in the Des Moines Register

5. California’s Baloian Farms Introducing New Organic Produce Items

Awe Sum Organics

Fresno-based Baloian Farms plans to introduce organic green beans and green peppers to its Coachella Valley season this year.  Moving north to Fresno in mid-May, Baloian will introduce organic zuchinni and yellow squash. 

Sierra Lopes, marketing specialist for Baloian Farms said “Our plans for 2017 are to grow organic green peppers, green beans and soft squash, but we are certainly looking for ways to develop this program in the future. Our organic green pepper harvest will begin in the Coachella Valley in the beginning of May.”

Baloian is a fourth-generation farm and a major supplier of peppers and mixed vegetables.  Click here for more.  

“With the increased demand, there also needs to be a corresponding increase in supply. This will be a big challenge in the future for growers of organic produce.  It’s going to be a big challenge to hit yields and procure enough supply to meet the demand.  One big influence for the growth in demand in the future will be the impact of Millennial moms.”

Jerry Moran, Naturipe Farms

AMF Farms / Bay Baby Produce

 

 

Organic Produce Network (OPN)
Organic Grower Summit
Overview of National Organic Standards Board Meeting

Overview of National Organic Standards Board Meeting


By Mindy Hermann

The next steps for the NOSB Crops Subcommittee include further clarification of terms and a proposal for a vote as early as this fall on separate definitions of aeroponics, aquaponics, and hydroponics and on whether each is allowed under organic rules.

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In Their Words: Vic Savanello

In Their Words: Vic Savanello


Vic Savanello, Allegiance Retail Services/Foodtown Inc. Senior Director of Produce and Floral , chats with OPN Connect about his career in retail, his views on organic fresh growth, the biggest challenges and more. 

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April NOSB Meeting: Why it’s Important to be Part of the Organic Process

April NOSB Meeting: Why it’s Important to be Part of the Organic Process


Originally established by the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), and governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the NOSB considers and makes recommendations on a wide range of issues involving the production, handling, and processing of organic products. It's important that industry members are part of the process. 

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California Organic Blueberry Season Kicks Off

California Organic Blueberry Season Kicks Off


Outstanding growing conditions have resulted in premium quality and plentiful supplies of organic California blueberries as production of this year’s crop begins. Industry members Homegrown Organic Farms, U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council and Naturipe share their outlook for the season. 

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Now That We Understand Millennials -- Generation Z and Organic Produce

Now That We Understand Millennials -- Generation Z and Organic Produce


No one doubts Millennials and Generation X are having a huge influence on food trends, especially in building the growing demand for organic produce.  Three studies about the next generation of influencers – Generation Z -- help understand how they are influencing food trends and the new changes they will bring to the marketplace. 

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Wholesum Family Farms
Awe Sum Organics
AMF Farms / Bay Baby Produce
Organic Produce Network (OPN)
Organic Grower Summit