Washington State – Organic by the Numbers

Washington State – Organic by the Numbers

USDA Organic Seal labels continue to appear on more and more food products. People must be buying organic, because the array of organic food at the supermarket continues to increase. In fact, organic sales from certified and exempt organic farms in 2014 for the United States amounted to almost $5.4 billion. (The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) exempts qualifying growers and processors from organic certification if they follow USDA guidelines for organic production, and earn less than $5,000 a year.)

Washington State is first in the nation for several quality agricultural products; such as apples and hops. So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone too much to find out our state is also a leader in the number of certified organic farms. Washington State is one of the top four states in the US with organic farms.

According to USDA numbers for 2014, Washington State is listed as having 700 certified organic farms; spread out in just about every county. Yakima County in the south central region of Washington has the most, with 92 organic farms.

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 1.25.56 PMSo, people are buying organic. Regardless of the reasons, sales of certified organic food is increasing throughout the United States. In fact, Washington State is a leader in total organic food sales as well. Of the top ten states leading in organic sales, Washington State is second in the nation; earning a cool $515 million in 2014.

The top-ten states in organic food sales, for 2014:

  1. California – earning $2.2 billion
  2. Washington – earning $515 million
  3. Pennsylvania – earning $313 million
  4. Oregon – earning $237 million
  5. Wisconsin – earning $201 million
  6. Texas – earning $199 million
  7. New York – earning $164 million
  8. Colorado – earning $147 million
  9. Michigan – earning $125 million
  10. Iowa – earning $103 million

It’s impressive that the above ten account for 78% of all organic food sales in the USA.

Aside from the top ten states, the 2014 USDA numbers show that the United State’s attention to organic food is a growing trend, with consumer spending up 72 percent since 2008.

In the next article, we’ll look at the standards a farm must meet to become certified organic.

What’s your opinion? Is the increase in organic farms in Washington State going to continue? What do you think of organic food in general? Does organic food taste better or is it any more nutritious?

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Eastern and Western Washington, Let’s Grow Together!

SOURCES:

USDA Organic Survey 2014:
https://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/Online_Resources/Organics/ORGANICS.pdf

Article by Mark Musick –
“Washington Organic”

Article by Lorraine Chow –
“These 10 States Account for a Whopping 78% in Sales of Organic Food”

Organic Statistics –
WSU CSANR

Organic Maps –
WSU CSANR

 

 

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