U.S. organics sales grew 17 percent in 2008

Organics sales grew 17 percent last year.
Organics sales grew 17 percent last year.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) said today U.S. sales of organic products, food and non-food, grew 17.1 percent over 2007 sales, in a positive sign for the agriculture and farm equipment industry.

The gains amid a shrinking economy is a bit of good news for agricultural producers who are reeling from U.S. trade issues due to the “swine flu” and other economic factors.

"Organic products represent value to consumers, who have shown continued resilience in seeking out these products," said Christine Bushway, OTA's executive director.

The survey measured the growth of U.S. sales of organic foods and beverages as well as non-food categories such as organic fibers, personal care products and pet foods during 2008.

Results show organic food sales grew in 2008 by 15.8 percent to reach $22.9 billion, while organic non-food sales grew 39.4 percent to reach $1.648 billion. As a result, organic food sales now account for approximately 3.5 percent of all food product sales in the United States, OTA said.

"This marks another milestone for the organic food market," said Bushway.