Organic agriculture is a fast growing sector in U.S. agriculture, creating jobs and promoting economic growth and opportunities across rural America. There are more than 22,000 certified organic farms and businesses in the U.S. That number continues to grow as consumer demand for organic grows. In 2015, there was approximately $43 billion in U.S. retail sales of organic products.
The USDA organic regulations describe how the word "organic" or the USDA organic seal can be used on food, feed, or fiber products. These clear regulations create entrepreneurial opportunities for producers and processors that want to capitalize on consumer growth in the organic sector.
Becoming certified organic helps producers and handlers:
- Receive premium prices for their products
- Access fast-growing local, regional, and international markets
- Support local economies
- Access additional funding and technical assistance
- Market products to consumers
Finding success in the organic marketplace:
- Debunking the myths about organic certification
- Understanding the Demand for Organic: Why is It Worth It?
- What’s the Value?
Research shows that organic farming practices can:
- Improve water quality
- Conserve energy
- Increase biodiversity
- Contribute to soil health