ORGANIC food production is the highest growing food industry sector in the United States. Double digits increase in organic food sales every year has been witnessed in the sector surpassing the growth rate for the overall food market. It’s estimated that organic food sales in 2015 jumped by 11 percent to almost $40 billion, far outstripping the 3 percent growth rate for the overall food market. Foods produced organically fetch higher prices than conventionally produced foods. This has seen an increased interest in organic food production coupled with increased demand of organic food products. More farmers are transitioning to organic production, more organic businesses are sprouting. A key question in this transition would be; what does all this interest in organic and organic activity mean for LOCAL economies?
According to a white Paper that summarizes and discusses three research papers that investigate organic agriculture hotspots in the U.S. and systematically assesses the impact of organic agriculture on local economies titled U.S. Organic Hotspots and their Benefit to Local Economies, it’s been shown that median households income experience an increase by an average of $2,000 in locations defined as organic hotspots. The white paper has been prepared by the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Organic hotspots consist of counties having highest levels of organic agricultural production (farms and businesses) and have neighboring counties that follow the same organic production.
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