Organic is this decade’s most common buzzword in the natural foods market. However, organic farming is far from new. For thousands of years before modern fertilizers and chemicals were used, farmers relied on techniques such as crop rotation, manure fertilizers and other natural forms of pest control. Today, the majority of farming in the U.S. is done conventionally using chemicals for fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides. The good news is, despite this, the organic industry in the US is growing.
The 2012 Organic Industry Survey was recently released by the Organic Trade Association (O.T.A) showing that due to consumer choice in the U.S., the organic industry grew by 9.5 percent in 2011 to reach over $31 billion in sales. The growth of this industry is the “fastest growing segment of U.S. agriculture for over a decade,” Christine Bushway, Executive Director and CEO of the O.T.A stated. “Consumers are increasingly engaged and discerning when they shop, making decisions based on their values and awareness about health.” Their purchasing decisions are attributed to the higher levels of education and awareness concerning organic versus conventional products.