Consumer demand for organic products continues to rise for both food and non-food items. In 2016, organic product sales totaled $47 billion. Organic food sales increased 8.4%, while organic non-food products increased 8.8% over the previous year.
Many consumers are willing to pay 20% more for organic products than non-organics. Shoppers are buying organics for a number of health and environmental reasons – all of which point to concerns about product safety and overall health.
In 2016, organic product sales totaled $47 billion. Organic food sales increased 8.4%, while organic non-food products increased 8.8% over the previous year.
Consumers are choosing organic because they want to minimize or avoid exposure to harmful chemicals, synthetic hormones, and antibiotics. Whether your product is consumed or used topically, there are multitudes of studies linking chemical exposure to serious illnesses. Organic food and cosmetics offer a cleaner alternative to conventionally produced products, and customers understand this is a safer choice. Additionally, “100% organic” by definition means non-GMO, and many consumers do not trust nor want to support genetic engineering of crops and animals.
Some consumers of organics are taking a stand against chemical pollutants in ground water, fields, and run-off. Conventional farming often uses large amounts of harmful pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides that not only penetrate and leave residue on our food, but also pollute our fields, forests, rivers, and oceans. For many, this is too high a price to pay for cheap food.
Organic agriculture is not only a cleaner alternative to industrial farming, but often incorporates sustainable farming practices that promote healthy soil and a healthy ecology. Organic farmers use restorative amendments, cover crops, and minimal insecticides, allowing nature’s balance of beneficial insects and fauna to thrive in the immediate community.
Food safety is on consumers’ minds. Product safety scares involve many types of products. Organic operators implement specific procedures and checks to prevent contamination and to maintain organic integrity. In summer 2017, a large European egg producer had to recall millions of eggs – from the UK to Hong Kong – after the discovery of contamination caused by a banned insecticide. A cleaning company used the insecticide at a poultry farm. The harmful insecticide was linked to liver and thyroid damage. This type of contamination would be unlikely in an organic operation because of the mandatory procedures, records, and audits – all focused on preventing contamination. Organic processes provide an additional layer of safety precautions.
Ultimately, both consumers and producers of organic products are making a choice about the kind of food and products they want in the marketplace and in their homes – choosing products that benefit the environment, the community, and personal health.
If your products are not yet organic, what are you waiting for?
You can find the full list of USDA-accredited organic certifiers here.
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Kucinich, E. (2013, Oct 1). The killing fields: industrial agriculture, dead zones, and genetically engineered corn.
Kennedy, M. (2017, Aug 11). Europe’s egg-contamination scandal spreads as far as Hong Kong.