The Organic Trade Association’s recent Organic Industry Survey seems like good proof that organic is here to stay. If consumers are still going to buy organic in a down economic climate like ’09, is that not evidence enough that organic isn’t just a fad? If you detect a touch of indignation—you’d be right. I am simply fatigued with the multitude of organic naysayers. Especially those this past year who seemed to enjoy telling me that organic had seen its day, “People just can’t afford luxuries like that anymore.” Well, that’s not what the numbers say.
Consider that while yes organic only grew 5.1 percent last year compared to 16 percent in ’08, the overall growth of U.S. food sales was a much less robust 1.9 percent. Christine Bushway, the OTA’s executive director points to this as consumer dedication to organic. And even more noteworthy is that the sale of organic produce grew 11.4 percent last year; double-digit growth like this shouldn’t be belittled.
Sure, organic faces issues like growing consumer skepticism regarding the National Organic Program’s reliability (though the USDA is taking steps to remedy this) but what I find heartening is that why organic is vital to the our health and the health of our planet appears to be becoming rooted in our societal fabric, albeit slowly-- but it’s no fad.