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USDA reports record growth in U.S. organic producers

Staff writer |
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported a significant increase in the number of certified organic operations, continuing the trend of double digit growth in the organic sector.

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According to new data, there are now 21,781 certified organic operations in the United States and 31,160 around the world.

According to data released by the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP), the number of domestic certified organic operations increased by almost 12 percent between 2014 and 2015, representing the highest growth rate since 2008 and an increase of nearly 300 percent since the count began in 2002.

The total retail market for organic products is now valued at more than $39 billion in the United States and over $75 billion worldwide.

Along with consumer demand for organics, increasingly they are asking for local foods. Under Secretary Vilsack, USDA has supported providing consumers a stronger connection to their food with more than $1 billion in investments to over 40,000 local and regional food businesses and infrastructure projects since between 2009.

Industry data estimates that U.S. local food sales totaled at least $12 billion in 2014, up from $5 billion in 2008.opportunity for America's farming families and rural communities in 2016.

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