More than two-thirds of U.S. consumers buy organic products at least occasionally, and 28 percent buy organic products weekly.
USDA-accredited companies certified over 27,000 producers and handlers worldwide to the U.S. organic standard, with approximately 16,000 in the United States.
Products can be called organic if certified to have grown on soil that had no prohibited substances applied for three years prior to harvest. Prohibited substances include most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
For processed, multi-ingredient foods, regulations prohibit artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors, and require that their ingredients are organic, with some minor exceptions.
- United States Department of Agriculture National Organic Program Regulation (7 CFR 205)
- Canadian Organic Product Regulation (SOR/2006-338 COPR)
- European Union (EU) Council Regulation (EC) No. 834/2007 and Commission Regulations (EC) No. 889/2008 and 1235/2008
- Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) for Organic Plants (Notification No. 1605 of 2005) and the JAS for Organic Processed Foods (Notification No. 1606 of 2005)
- Republic of Korea Act on Promotion of Environmentally-Friendly Agriculture and Fisheries and Management of and Support for Organic Food, and its implementing regulations for processed foods.
In 2020, almost 6 percent of the food sold in the United States was certified organic, and U.S. organic sales soared to new high of nearly $62 billion.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused consumer dollars to shift from restaurants and carry-out to online grocery shopping. New products were tried, as families ate more meals at home.
Organic’s reputation of being better for you and the planet, positioned it for dramatic growth.