USDA says that the organic industry continues to show remarkable growth domestically and globally, with 19,474 certified organic operations in the United States and a total of 27,814 certified organic operations around the world.
According to data released by the Agricultural Marketing Service’s National Organic Program (NOP), the number of domestic certified organic operations increased by more than 5% over the last year. Since the count began in 2002, the number of domestic organic operations has increased by over 250%.
Organics growth is markedly up throughout the U.S., and Pacific Northwest producers continue to enjoy a sharp growth, according to western state departments of agriculture, who track the organic industry’s record.
“As demand for organic products continues to soar, more and more producers are entering the organic market,” says USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “USDA tools and resources have created opportunities for organic farmers and more options for organic consumers. Growing demand for organic goods can be especially helpful to smaller family operations.
“The more diverse type of operations and the more growing market sectors we have in American agriculture, the better off our country’s rural economy will be.”
USDA says it is committed to connecting organic farmers and businesses with resources to ensure the continued growth of the organic industry. Along with programs to support conservation, provide access to loans and grants, fund organic research and education, and integrated pest management, USDA administers organic certification cost share programs to offset the costs of organic certification for U.S. producers and handlers nationwide.
Now, USDA is using funding from the 2014 Farm Bill to develop the Organic Integrity Database, a modernized certified organic operations database that will provide accurate information about all certified operations that is updated on a regular basis.
The modernized system will allow anyone to confirm organic certification status using the online tool, support market research and supply chain connections, allow international verification of operator status to streamline import and export certificates, and establish technology connections with certifiers to provide more accurate and timely data. The initial launch is planned for September 2015.
Additional information about USDA resources and support for the organic sector is available on the USDA Organics Resource page at www.usda.gov/organic.
With a mission to heal the earth through agriculture, Demeter USA once again hosts its popular Biodynamic Garden and Lounge with a full slate of speakers and panels at this year’s 2014 National Heirloom Exposition.
A three-day fair devoted to the pure food movement, heirloom seeds, and anti-GMO education, the National Heirloom Exposition takes over the Sonoma County Fairgrounds Tuesday-Thursday, Sept. 9-11, 2014.
Now in its fourth year, the Expo last year drew over 18,000 visitors and Demeter’s Garden and Lounge was a favored attraction. Located in the heart of the Expo footprint, this 15,000-square-foot installation offers relaxation and refreshment for guests to enjoy while learning about Biodynamic® farming principles and products.
Offering three full days of free education with Expo admission, Demeter’s Garden and Lounge featured speakers this year include Dan Kent of Salmon-Safe, a new Demeter USA partner in the national “Farming in the Wild” program; Cynthia Sandberg of Love Apple Farm, the partner-grower to the esteemed South Bay restaurant Manresa; Harald Hoven of the Rudolph Steiner College; apiarist Michael Thiele, co-founder of Melissa’s Garden bee sanctuary; Demeter USA co-director Jim Fullmer; “Slow Money” expert John Bloom; and many others.
As part of the Expo’s Kid’s Day programming, Demeter’s Garden and Lounge hosts Malibu Compost in a free activity for students ages 5-17 on Wednesday, Sept. 10. Using open-pollinated Biodynamic seeds donated by Turtle Tree Seed company, young people will be invited to start plants that can be taken home for their own gardens—helping them grow into a healthier future as adults.
Interest in Biodynamic farming, viticulture, and products has never been higher, particularly in Northern California, where some 40 producers are either Demeter-certified or amid the transition to certification.
More comprehensive than organic, Biodynamic production treats the farm as a closed loop, a holistic whole in which all elements from the people to the soil are interdependent. Grape growers and vintners have been enthusiastic adopters of Biodynamic farming, not only because it is the best for their land, but because such wines are of avid interest to educated consumers. Look for a display of Demeter-certified products, including wine, onsite.
Join us at Demeter’s Biodynamic Garden and Lounge this September at the National Heirloom Exposition, quickly becoming known as “The World’s Fair of Pure Food.”
Demeter’s Biodynamic Garden & Lounge at the National Heirloom Exposition
Tuesday-Thursday, Sept. 9-11, 2014
Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa
Open 11am to 8pm
Exposition admission, $10 a day; $25 for all days; under 17, free.
Demeter Lounge and Garden admission included
Participating Organizations: Amanda Lane Photography, Blossom’s Farm, Biodynamic Association of Northern California (BDNAC), Bohemian Stoneworks, Dark Horse Farming Company, Demeter USA, DIY Edible Gardens, Frizelle Enos, Gaia Bees, Guayaki Sustainable Rainforest Products Inc., Harmony Farm Supply & Nursery, Healdsburg SHED, Healing Spirit Plants, Hundred Acre Wood Farm, Live Power Farm, Love Apple Farms, Lundberg Family Farms, Malibu Compost, Permaculture Artisans, Quantum Culture, RSF Social Finance, Robinwood Construction, Rudolf Steiner College, Salmon-Safe, Whole Foods Market
Sponsors: Demeter USA, Whole Foods Market, Presence Marketing, Dark Horse Farming Company, DIY Edible Gardens, Frey Vineyards, Healdsburg SHED, Lundberg Family Farms, Frey Vineyards, RSF Social Finance
Emmanuel Giboulot, a biodynamic winemaker in Beaune, has been threatened with a €30,000 fine and six months in prison for not treating his vines against the flavesence dorée disease.
The 49 acres of our farm are surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and woods, at an altitude of 150 m above sea level. Our main goal has been to produce wines that reflect the uniqueness of this territory. Our respect for the land and the grapes has found an answer in the biodynamic cultivation movement founded by Rudolf Steiner.
The conversion of the fields to biodynamic cultivation has taken several years, and the maintenance of the land and vines is now an ongoing life process.
During the wine making process we pay strict attention to quality control. For fermentation, we only use the yeasts already present on the grapes. We keep sulfites levels low and do not add tannins or other additives. We firmly believe in a wine that reflects the geographical area where it was produced; not in concocted wines fashioned to suit the vagaries of the moment.
Millésime Bio brings together organic wines from a variety of French regions and from many countries outside France. The trade show provides a platform for dialogue and exploration through conferences and open wine tastings.