of Organic Food Production

By CECILIA PARSONS | Associate Editor

Business opportunities in organic food production led a

lengthy list of benefits at the annual meeting of

California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).

Growers, processors and marketers of organically grown

agricultural commodities attended the Fresno gathering

in February where the inaugural Benefits Report by the

CCOF Foundation was presented.

Panelists at the 2019 CCOF annual meeting and conference highlighted CCOF's

new report on benefits of organic farming. From left are Steve Pedersen of

High Ground Organics, Laetitia Benador, CCOF research fellow, Jane Sooby

senior policy specialist CCOF and Joe Morris, Morris Grassfed Beef.

Photo Courtesy of Cecilia Parsons

Organic Demand

The CCOF Foundation reports that, organic is the fastest

growing sector of the U.S. food industry with value

approaching $50 billion. This sector also grew six percent

in 2017, compared to one percent growth in all U.S. food

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sales. Their statistics show that 82 percent of families in the

U.S. purchase organically grown or processed food.

In addition to demand, organically

grown crops and livestock support the

viability of producers who typically

receive 20 percent higher prices.

The organic food industry also creates

an estimated 1.4 million jobs in the

U.S. and 407,400 jobs in California.

The report states that organic farms

tend to create more full time year

round employment opportunities

for farmworkers. The goal stated at

the meeting is to have 10 percent of

California farmland certified organic

by 2030.

Digging farther into the new report

were speakers Joe Morris of Morris

Grassfed Beef, Steve Pederson of

High Ground Organics and CCOF

researcher Laetitia Benador.

A Clear Plan

The benefits report, Benador said, was

done to show policy makers that the

organic industry has a clear plan to

move forward and present sustainable

solutions to food production.

“We have the evidence showing

the benefits of expanded organic

food production,” Benador told the

30 Organic Farmer April/May 2019

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