OPN Connect Newsletter 11 · May 11, 2017

Organic Week in Brief: Five Need to Knows


Mexico Leads in Organic Exports to U.S. 

Nature Safe

Mexico tops organic exports to the U.S. with $62.7 million worth of organic products in 2016, a 77 percent increase from first quarter 2016.  The majority of exports from Mexico were Haas avocados, valued at $34.1 million, up 212 percent.  Turkey and Italy were second and third in volume of organic exports to the U.S., contributing to the U.S. trade deficit for organic products of $366 million in first quarter, 2017.  For more, visit USDA-ERS website here.

Growers’ Organic Boxes Competing with CSAs in Denver

This spring, Denver-based Grower’s Organic launched a new service that competes with local community supported agricultural programs (CSAs).  Grower’s Organic offers weekly organic produce Goboxes that use produce from its Colorado farms supplement with organics in season elsewhere to maintain variety.  Without the traditional CSA membership fee, Goboxes cost between $17 for a “Pretty Ugly” box to $32 for a large family-sized box.  In June, Grower’s Organic will launch a Foodie box and later, a Native box that offers local high quality varieties.  Click for more.

Organic Ag Products

Seeds of Change Announces 24 Grant Recipients for 2017

Seeds of Change™, a leading producer of sustainably grown organic seeds and nutritious organic foods, today announced the 24 grant recipients in the 2017 Seeds of Change™ Grant Program.  The winners include 12 community gardens and 12 school garden programs across the country.  Seeds of Change™ is distributing $310,000 in grants this year, funded by one percent of its net annual sales.  To date, the annual program has donated nearly $1,000,000 in funds benefiting more than 35,000 individuals.  It is estimated that past Grant recipients have grown more than 90 tons of fresh produce for their communities in the past six years of the program.

“Seeds of Change™ is committed to helping create healthier, greener communities, and through the donation of one percent of our net sales to school, community gardening and farming programs nationwide, we hope to connect communities to the food they eat as well as advance sustainable and organic growing practices," said Andrew Cops, Vice President of Marketing, Seeds of Change™.  For more information about the Seeds of Change™ Grant Program, please visit

Ocean Mist

Pew Research:  Organic Defies Demographic Distinctions

Shoppers’ preference for organic is tough to predict along typical categorizations, according to Cary Funk, Associate Director of Research on Science and Society with Pew Research.  In her paper, “The New Food Fights: U.S. Public Divides Over Food Science,” Dr. Funk concluded that individuals’ attitudes and beliefs about organic food are not tied to political affiliation or other common factors such as geography, education or income.  Rather, they stem from a unique mix of concerns, philosophies and personal experience.  Dr. Funk will present her findings at the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) Policy Conference on May 24.  Learn more here.

Global Organic Food and Beverage Market Estimated to Grow More Than 14.8 Percent

Market Research Future, a global research group based in India, projects the global organic market to grow at least 14.8 percent from 2016 to 2022.  The group issued a report on May 9 titled “Organic Food & Beverages Market Size, Emerging Trends, Industry Analysis and Foresight to 2022.”  The report credits both the growing consumer awareness of health benefits along with growing disposable income as factors in the global increase in both industrialized and developing countries.  The researchers state that organic fruits and vegetables will dominate market growth for organic food in 2016, gradually being challenged by frozen and processed organics as consumers adopt busier lifestyles.  Click for more of the report details.   


"My mother is my root, my foundation. She planted the seed that I base my life on, and that is the belief that the ability to achieve starts in your mind.”

- Michael Jordan, NBA Legend

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