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Organic Production

On average, 82% of US households now purchase organic products on a regular basis. Organic fruits and vegetables account for 15% of US produce sales, followed by eggs and dairy (6.5%).

The goal of organic production is to produce food and fiber while protecting the health of soil, plants, animals, and people. Organic systems use natural processes for nutrient additions and pest management, and rely on additions of organic matter (like compost) to improve soil quality. In the United States, the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service administers the National Organic Program.

Certified organic farms must adhere to strict federal guidelines and pass annual inspections. Synthetic chemicals, ionizing radiation, and genetically modified organisms are not allowed in organic production, and artificial dyes, flavors, and preservatives are not allowed in processed organic food. Certified and transitioning farmers and ranchers need approval from their certification agency prior to adopting practices or adding any inputs to their farm.

Contact: Danielle Treadwell