It’s incredible to think about how much has changed since QAI first began operation! When QAI was founded in 1989, organic products were a small part of U.S. consumer sales. There was no national organic program – instead, there were many state and local programs, which led to confusion about how these programs compared to one another. There were also no international equivalency agreements that allowed countries to cooperate on the growth of organic markets.
Today, U.S. sales of organic products is $50 billion annually, international agreements allow for easier exchange of goods and ingredients, and the USDA National Organic Program is recognized around the world as the gold standard. That’s quite an accomplishment in a relatively short period of time!
But a basic tenet of organic production is the concept of continuous improvement, and we should be looking forward to how we continue to grow while ensuring the integrity of the program we all rely on and support. It’s imperative that we continue to have consumer confidence in the organic seal – whether that’s the USDA seal or Canadian, Mexican or other international standards. We all stand to lose should the integrity of the process be undermined.
So, in the near future fraud prevention strategies will be front and center in our community. The National Organic Program and the Organic Trade Association both have program focus in this area. We’ll keep you updated on changes and opportunities that will come from those programs.
At QAI, we will keep doing our jobs – maintaining the integrity of the process and keeping you up to date on policies that may impact your business. Here’s to another 30 years together!