Organic fresh produce accounted for $1.25 billion in sales at the end of the second quarter of 2017, an 8 percent increase in dollars and a 10 percent rise in volume from the previous year, according to the Organic Produce Network (OPN).
Category growth was led by packaged salads ($243 million, up 19.5 percent vs. last year), berries ($174 million, up 14.6 percent vs. last year) and bananas ($59 million, up 25 percent vs. last year).
Notably, pineapples saw a 35 percent jump in volume in 2017 as well.
Ten organic produce categories account for three quarters of all organic produce dollar sales. In addition to packaged salads and berries, rounding out the list are herbs, spices and seasonings, apples, beverages, carrots, bananas, lettuce, tomatoes, and citrus.
Convenience-based produce such as baby carrots, green beans and vegetable trays and medleys saw a 2.7 percent increase in dollar sales and a 4.5 percent jump in volume during the second quarter of 2017 compared to last year, with overall retail prices about 2 percent lower than the same period last year. Consumer preference seems to lean more toward value-added vegetables than value-added fruit, which was down close to 6 percent in volume at the end of the second quarter. Read the full article on the Growing Produce website
For organic growers and producers these are exciting times as consumers’ appetite for organics does not seem to subside. With demand soaring, ensuring the quality and food safety of products is essential. GFSI-benchmarked certifications such as GLOBALG.A.P. and PrimusGFS as well as non-certification GMP-based standard help growers and packers to ensure food safety of their products and demonstrate to their retail partners their commitment to quality and safety. NSF International, QAI’s parent company, is an accredited certification body for most GFSI schemes (including GLOBALG.A.P., PrimusGFS and CanadaGAP). Read more about GFSI certification on the NSF International website
For growers with operations in both the U.S. and Mexico, NSF offers organic certifications to both NOP (USDA) and LPO (Mexican) organic standards.
For producers and growers who are considering organic certification, this is the right time to jump right in. Organic certification experts at QAI can guide you through the organic certification process. We understand that often the cost of converting the land to organic is high and it takes time. That is why we offer Certified Transitional certification tailored for growers who would like to become organic eventually, but need a little time to get up to speed. Read more about our Certified Transitional program.