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Organic Operations Up 12%
Between 2014 and 2015, domestic certified organic operations increased by nearly 12%, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP).
This brings the total number of U.S. certified organic operations up to 21,781 with the total number of global certified organic operations at 31,160. Since the NOP started creating these reports in 2002, organic operations have increased by almost 300%.
“Organic food is one of the fastest growing segments of American agriculture,” says agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack.
Although the reported numbers seem daunting and there is an ever-increasing consumer demand for organic food choices, organic farms still aren’t making up that much of the total U.S. farms.
According to the USDA’s latest Farms and Land in Farms report, there are an estimated 2.067 million farms in the U.S., which is the fewest number of farms in the country since 1860. Organic farms only make up 1.05% of total U.S. farms.
“As consumer demand for organic products continues to grow, the USDA organic seal has become a leading global standard,” Vilsack says. “The increasing number of organic operations shows that USDA’s strong support for the vibrant organic sector is helping to create jobs and opportunities in rural communities.”
In 2015, the USDA had more than $11.5 million in funding available to help farmers with certification costs.
For more information about total U.S. farms and farm acreage, see Fewer Farms, Bigger Operations.