Washington, D.C.—More organic farmers and handlers will soon be exempt from paying for the marketing and research of conventional agricultural products, due to a new proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The collective savings involved for organic stakeholders may amount to $13.6 million annually, according to USDA estimates.
Chicago, IL—Generation Z (includes ages 0–23) and Millennials (ages 24–37) are the primary groups behind a recent rise in consumption of fresh foods, according to new market research from NPD Group. Fresh food, including fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish and eggs, has become more popular over the last 10 years, driven by interest from young consumers.
A newly available Web domain is beginning to be adopted by organic groups and companies. Global registry services provider Afilias made .organic available as an alternative to common domains like .com or .org back in August of 2014. It is only available to companies that sell at least some certified organic products, or are legitimate players in the organic industry. A survey commissioned by Afilias shows the public may actually value this distinction being made when visiting Web sites.
Golden Valley, MN—Food mega-company General Mills has disbanded two segments of its business, the Small Planet Foods organic division and its frozen foods division, absorbing the brands into other parts of the company.
As the several year-old drought in California wears on with no end in sight, the state’s agriculture industry is scrambling for answers. Perhaps the hardest hit sector is organic dairy, where regulations make it harder to maintain business as usual through a severe lack of rainfall.
Denver, CO; Salem, OR—Two state ballot initiatives that would have required the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food to be called out on labels failed to pass on Election Day. The vote on Colorado’s Proposition 105 was not close, as voters shot it down 66% to 34%. Oregon’s Measure 92 came up short by less than one percentage point, or about 10,000 votes.