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The Ever-expanding Industry of Certified Organics

Posted by Terry Matlock, Public Affairs Specialist, National Agricultural Statistics Service in Research and Science
Jan 18, 2023
Supermarket shoppers

Last month, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the results of the 2021 Certified Organic Survey. The data showed a continued upward trend in the organic industry since 2008, when organic data collection first began.

In 2008, the value of sales from organically produced commodities was $3.2 billion across the United States. In comparison, the 2021 data shows that California alone had $3.6 billion in total value of sales. California also accounted for 31% of the total U.S. value of organic production of $11.2 billion.

Another great comparison is in farms and land. In 2008, there were 14,540 certified organic or exempt farms that totaled 4.1 million acres. In 2021, the U.S. had 17,445 farms operating a total of 4.9 million certified organic acres.

If you compare just a two-year period, you will find the sale of organic crops increased by 5%, growing from $5.8 billion in 2019 to $6.1 billion in 2021. At this same time, the sales of livestock and poultry products (i.e., milk, eggs) increased by 16% to $2.9 billion from the 2019 total of $2.5 billion. Additionally, livestock and poultry sales increased by 29% to $2.2 billion from the $1.7 billion totals of 2019.

Data from the Certified Organic Survey helps determine the economic impact of organic production at the national and state levels. It helps growers, the industry, stakeholders, government, and others make informed, data-driven decisions affecting organic production in the U.S. For more organic data that highlights the growth of the industry, please visit the USDA NASS website.

Category/Topic: Research and Science