Demand for ‘Organic Everything’ on the Rise

After a dip during the recession, demand for organic food is finally on the rise. But it’s not just food—people want, well, organic everything, from organic soil to organic beauty items; and the trend is now global.

The organic sector in the United Kingdom, for example, is showing initial signs of recovery with 0.6-percent sales growth after a tough slog through the recession, according to new data from Nielsen and the Soil Association. The 2013 Organic Market Report highlights key areas of growth in online retail, independent outlets and a shift toward younger consumers during 2012.

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) in June reported that organic food is now a $63 billion industry worldwide. From 2002-2011, the industry grew 170 percent, averaging about 19-percent growth each year.

Of that, the United States is home to the biggest organic market, with the country’s organic industry reaching $31.5 billion in sales. That’s a 9.5-percent increase from the previous year.

Ironically, the United States doesn’t have enough organic farmers to support such demand; so Americans get the bulk of their organic foods from developing countries. Organic agriculture comprises less than 1 percent of the world’s farming acreage. This statistic seems to work against the organic movement in general, which seems to value locally sourced, organic food.

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