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January 23, 2013
SAN DIEGOThe organic market and organic products will be more well-regulated, focused on safety and sustainability and more widely available in the next 10 years, according to predictions from Quality Assurance International (QAI), a leading certifier of organic and gluten-free products.
The organic market has witnessed explosive growth in the past 10 years. Overall organic sales have skyrocketed 266% since 2002 totaling $31.5 billion in sales for 2011. The number of organic farms has more than doubled from 7,323 in 2002 to 17,281 organic farmers and processing facilities in the United States today. QAI forecasts this growth will lead to greater organic availability for both institutional and consumer use of organic products.
October 2012 marked 10 years of USDA overseeing certified organic products. There are 49 U.S.-based organic certification agencies accredited by USDA operating in 2012. In 2012 QAI organic certifications increased to 1,681 from 639 in 2002 for a 163% increase in certifications.
Based on its 23-year history in the industry, QAI issued some predictions for the organic market overall. The company sees a greater emphasis on food safety within organic, with more disciplined food-safety practices audited and certified at even the smallest farms and plants.
QAI also predicts international standards for organics will converge with USDA regulations to remove former obstacles to international trade, and sees the United States moving closer to its European neighbors in non-GMO verification and labeling.
Sustainability issues such as biodiversity, water and soil conservation also will garner increased interest within the future of the organic market.
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