June 8th, 2015
Organic Agriculture on the Rise
Agriculture industry analysts have recently called the organic agriculture market the most varied and increasingly growing sector in the food industry worldwide. Recent trends in health conscientiousness have had consumers from all over the globe searching for local and organic products. In the 2011 report from the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, they valued the global value of the organic market at approximately $63 billion US.
As this health trend continues across the continent, there is only room for more growth within the organic sector. In North America, there is currently more organic produce being consumed than produced, so now is the perfect time to start a new business or make the transition to the organic agriculture industry.
Organic vs. Non-Organic
There is often confusion as to what qualifies a product as organic. Organic agriculture is produced using environmentally friendly methods. They are grown without the use of herbicides or pesticides, and refrain from using any food/growth additives. Non-organic foods more often than not are grown using food additives and pesticides to help them grow bigger and faster.
To be labelled ‘100% organic’, they have to be made entirely of organic materials. To get the ‘organic’ label, the product only has to be 95% organic. Organic products don’t necessarily have more health benefits than non-organic; it’s just that they have less toxins and chemicals added to them. These chemicals won’t kill you, but they certainly aren’t beneficial to us in any way either
Wide Variety of Grants
With this sector on the rise, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is looking to invest more time and money in developing new technologies and marketing strategies for organic products.
National Organic Certification Cost Share Program
To meet the high standards of the North American agricultural industry, all organic farmers must obtain certification that they are meeting the standards provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to sell organic produce. This program looks to help cover those costs by providing up to 75% of certification costs to organic farmers and businesses.
Organic Research and Extension Initiative
To help grow the industry further, the USDA is providing grants for private and non-profit organizations to educate, market, and conduct research regarding the organic sector. This is a great way for farmers and businesses alike to increase the growth of organic farming by raising awareness and making it an easier process.
Organic Transitions Program
This program aims to help current farmers with the transition process to becoming a certified organic farmer. It is very difficult for a business to change their entire inventory to organic products without getting rid of the old items, so the USDA is looking to help with the issue by providing funding to educational institutions so they can conduct research and provide education for those looking to make the transition.
Organic Crop Insurance
The government recognizes that organic produce is more expensive to grow and maintain, so they offer this extra insurance program for farmers to receive further funding pending any environmental or financial emergency.
Now is the perfect time to get involved in the rapidly growing sector of organic agriculture. Apply for a grant through INAC Services and help serve the nation you love and live in.