The organic food industry achieved its fastest growth rate in five years in 2013, says a new survey from the Organic Trade Association (OTA). An 11.5% jump saw the industry reach $35.1 billion in sales, up from $31.5 billion in 2012. The growth is set to continue, according to OTA, as the Organic Industry Survey projects that this rate will at least be matched and possibly exceeded over the next two years.

Washington, D.C.—In what is being called a “historic investment,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making $78 million available annually for the development of regional and local food systems. The operations eligible to receive funds include food hubs, farmers markets, aggregation and processing facilities, distribution services and other local food business enterprises.

Harvard, MA—Neonicotinoids, a class of insecticide, are harmful to honey bee colonies during winter months, according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health. This study strengthens previous findings associating insecticide use with Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a term used to describe the recent widespread disappearance of honey bee colonies.

Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., addressed the Ingredient Marketplace crowd in early June with a presentation entitled, “There and Back Again.” Reflecting upon his time as the director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) division of dietary supplements, Fabricant, now executive director and CEO of the Natural Products Association (NPA), offered insight into FDA’s current thinking on dietary supplements and what could be on the agency’s radar for the future.

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Simi Valley, CA—derma e has announced results from an independent clinical trial of two of its products: Scar Gel for diminishing scar appearance and Pzorzema for alleviating skin conditions associated with eczema and psoriasis. In addition to quantitative data collected by the trial administrators, subjective questionnaires and product diaries were kept by all the participants to track their opinions on the products’ effects over the eight-week trial period.

Do you factor generational differences into your approach to acquiring new customers? How much thought do you give to a generational mix when designing your advertising and marketing programs? Are you looking for a new method to stay ahead of your competition and stay on the leading edge? If so, then consider generational differences when preparing your sales materials. It is important to know that NO generation follows another in mindset, based upon the social circumstances they were raised with in their youth.

A new study out of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and published in Nature links higher atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels with worsening nutrient deficiencies worldwide. Specifically, levels of zinc and iron, nutrients much of the world is already deficient in, may be under threat.