Organic Sector Thrives in 2015


“America’s organic industry is booming, creating important opportunities for farmers and ranchers and adding to the vibrancy of rural America.” Those were the words of USDA's Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, after reviewing the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) report that showed the organic sector posted its largest-ever dollar gain in 2015, with total organic product sales growing by $4.2 billion, reaching $43.3 billion.

According to the report, fruits and vegetables continue to be the top selling major organic category, accounting for nearly 13% of all products sold in the U.S. Dairy is the second-largest organic food category, with 15% of total dairy sales in 2015. Sales of non-food products such as organic fiber clothing and organic based health supplements grew as well.

Vilsack also stated that, “As consumer demand continues to grow, USDA is here to support producers and help them access the hunger for American-grown organic products.”

Some highlights of USDA’s work in the organic sector include:

  • 261 million invested in research over the past seven years to improve the productivity and  success of organic agriculture, including seed breeding.
  • More than 21,900 organic operations certified to date.
  • New tools to help organic producers find technical and financial assistance to help them grow. 
  • Over 6,800 farms provided with $115 million in assistance to help producers implement conservation practices on organic farms.
  • New crop insurance options to meet the unique needs of organic farmers.

Read Vilsack’s complete statement here.