Consumers Like “Organic,” Even If Confused on Meaning
A new survey finds 84% of US consumers say they sometimes buy organic foods, and 45% buy organic at least once a month. But the survey of 1,016 adults, conducted by Opinion Research Corp. for Consumer Reports, also turned up some consumer confusion over what exactly that USDA organic certification means. Fewer than half, for example, knew that the organic seal on poultry or eggs means that the chickens went outdoors and had a certain minimum amount of living space. (Nearly two-thirds, however, thought “organic” should signify such requirements.) And 20% reported buying organic fish, even though the USDA has no such standard; nearly all (92%) said the agency should have guidelines for organic fish.
Meanwhile, the USDA announced that US retail sales of organic products reached $35 billion last year. As of Dec. 31, there were 18,513 certified organic farms and businesses in the US, with 763 new producers certified in 2013. The total of organic producers represents a 245% increase since 2002.