Natural Foods Merchandiser

Organic Note

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the new Organic Times. This supplement to The Natural Foods Merchandiser has its roots in the early 1990s when it was published as a quarterly supplement. The time is right to bring back a revitalized Organic Times for today.

We have a multifaceted vision for this magazine. First, we want it to be an exciting educational resource (especially for those new to the organic industry) about the organic regulatory framework as well as its philosophical foundation.

Second, we want to celebrate the human side of organics—the full spectrum of the organic community, from advocates such as Anna Lappé and our Spirit of Organic award winners to the organic farmers running for office at the federal and state levels this year.

Third, we hope to illuminate questions that will determine the future of organics in the United States. In this inaugural issue, our Point/Counterpoint looks at the hot-button issue of scale: Should there be a limit to the size of organic farms?

And finally, we hope that Organic Times will help deepen your knowledge and understanding of the organic marketplace, and offer creative ways to build community with your customers and neighbors.

The editorial and publishing team of The Natural Foods Merchandiser brings its expertise and passion to Organic Times, and deserves special thanks for its dedication to covering organics.

We also salute everyone who worked on the original Organic Times; as we looked at those earlier issues, their enthusiasm for organic foods and farming inspired us.

Today's dynamic organic marketplace demands a commitment to both growth and integrity, and we hope to support both those goals in Organic Times. Please tell us what you think. You can e-mail me at or Marty Traynor Spencer, editor in chief, at We want to hear your hopes for the future of organics—and the new Organic Times. Thanks for reading.

Elaine Lipson
Organic Program Director,
New Hope Natural Media

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