Washington, D.C.—A new report released by the Organic Trade Association has revealed new insight into the demand for U.S. organic goods in this country and overseas.
According to the report, $550 million of products sold by American organic growers and exported was tracked to buyers around the world. While outpaced by $1.3 billion in organic imports, the United States has still become a global supplier in its own right, and demand is rising quickly.
The top five organic products exported by the U.S. are apples, lettuce, grapes, spinach and strawberries. An important thing to note is that it is organic produce specifically that is enjoying this spike in exports. Organic apples alone experienced a 40% increase in 2014 from 2013, while non-organic apples only increased by 3%. Nearly all the organic goods tracked in the report showed a higher rise than conventional versions. As a result, organic products exports are becoming a larger proportion of all produce exports, with 42% of all exported cherry tomatoes being organic, 33% of all spinach and 27% of all onions. Laura Batcha, CEO and executive director of the Organic Trade Association, these results are a “’Help Wanted’ message for American farmers…It shows substantial missed opportunities for the U.S. farmer by not growing organic.”
On the import side, coffee was the largest organic category by far at $330 million, but organic soybeans are second, partially due to the demand for feed for the growing organic poultry and livestock categories. According to the report, stagnant domestic production of organic soybeans combined with this demand has led to very high price points, with a bushel of organic soybeans selling for about $25 on average compared to $9 on average for conventional soybeans. Olive oil, bananas and wine rounded off the top five organic imports in the report.
Posted on 5/4/15