Protecting the Organic Marketplace
Global sales of organic products totaled $90 billion in 2017 according to the 2018 edition of the study The World of Organic Agriculture, published by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture and Organics International. In the U.S., the figure is $50 billion, or 5 percent of all grocery store sales. Demand for organic products is increasing, more farmers cultivate organically, more land is certified organic and 178 countries report organic farming activities.
The challenge is to safeguard organic standards from large corporations that buy up organic brands and try to weaken U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requirements. This has led to an erosion of both organic standards and consumer trust in the organic labeling of products such as eggs, milk and grains.
To restore public trust, the Organic Consumers Association is committed to exposing the fraudulent players in the organic industry while fighting for stronger organic protections. At one time, states could develop their own rules for organic food production and processing. But in 1990, Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act, which created the National Organic Program and the National Organic Standards Board. Foods labeled USDA Organic are the gold standard for health and sustainability.