I just returned from the Organic Produce Summit, which was the place to be if you are into healthy living, organic food and food health. This event was the first one held in the produce industry and celebrates the growth of organic fresh produce across all channels - growers, retailers, buyers, and media.
The organic industry says U.S. sales of its products jumped 11 percent last year alone, to more than $39 billion, despite tight domestic supplies of organic ingredients. And the number of U.S. organic operations has grown by 250 percent since the government started certifying organic products in 2002
Organic products are now available in nearly 20,000 natural food stores and nearly 3 out of 4 conventional grocery stores, and the Organic Trade Association says those non-food organic items (like textiles and personal care items) sales jumped almost 14 percent last year and totaled more than $3 billion. And it’s growing.
So many of the traditional growers, farming companies, are now recognizing that organic produce is the hot product in the room. However, this is not the only reason that they’re moving towards this. Most of the farming companies that we work with, or have gotten to know, are actually farming families who have grown their businesses by attracting other family farmers into their fold. They - the families of farmers across the USA - have always been stewards of the land, and sustainability in farming has been one of the most important aspects of their business. They have been preserving the land quality as best as possible, and now exploring or going into organic farming seems to be a natural evolution of what they’re currently doing.
We saw some great companies that we love now offering even more fantastic produce items – but now in organic. One such company was Taylor Farms, which unveiled their organic salads. Delicious varieties that are chef quality, and all ingredients for a family meal are all in-the-bag. We loved these items, and you have probably noticed that we are working together as well.
We also saw FOXY organic produce items, which I have personally been buying for well over a year. Their cauliflower as well as BroccoLeaf are great examples of more traditional produce that should be staples in one’s diet.
I then saw Earth Fresh, potatoes that are all grown organically, and another company called Homegrown Organics was unveiling new healthy snacks. Everywhere you turned, there were companies showcasing their organic foods. It was pretty spectacular!
Here are some videos that I filmed there, on behalf of The Produce News, as well. It was a great time, and I welcome you to learn more about it!