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Organic Trade Association
Organic Trade Association (OTA) is a membership-based business association that focuses on the organic business community in North America.

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    Greenfield, MA 01302
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Economic Benefits

Price premiums for organic products are continuing to hold in most sectors. The demand for organic products is outpacing production, so there's plenty of room for growth. The USDA's Economic Research Service estimates that only 0.5 percent of our national cropland is currently in organic production. But the economic benefits of organic production go deeper than that. By its nature, organic farming is a diversified production system. With a wider variety of products being grown, including livestock on some farms, the risks of market fluctuations and weather are minimized. Dependence on costly outside inputs is dramatically reduced. And because organic farmers generally think about building relationships, identifying new markets and working directly with consumers, they're generally open to new, value-added opportunities. They may also be more open to working cooperatively with other farmers to market and add value to their products.

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Resource Listing
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Organic Farm Certification & the National Organic Programota
An excellent overview of why farmers go organic, a five-step description of the certification process, a discussion of fees, and a brief history of...
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The Constellation of Organic Values: an Article by Former NOSB Chair Jim Riddleota
This article covers 23 factors that make organic production a must--covering its impact on food quality and safety, rural communities, farm...
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2005 Organic Consumer Trends Report from the Natural Marketing Instituteota
This costly but professionally conducted report, published in 2005, provides a comprehensive compilation of marketing information across the entire...
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Dairy: Demand for Organic Dairy Products in USA Exceeds Supply--New Farmers Neededota
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Economics of Organic Farmingota
Organic farmers diversify their businesses by growing several crops at one time, often having both livestock and field crops, and sometimes...
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Making the Transition to Organic Farming: It May be Easier Than You Thinkota
This fact sheet from the Rodale Institute's New Farm web site, covers the practical steps you need to take to prepare yourself for transitioning to...
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Organic in the U.S.: A View from Spaceota
The Organic Farming Research Foundation created a map of the US showing the geographic distribution of certified organic farmers, based on the USDA...
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The Evolving Market for Organic Fibersota
This article describes the growth in demand for organic fiber.
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Toronto University Begins Dance with “Local and Sustainable” Foodota
Biggest school on the continent agrees to buy good food from the biggest protected chunk of farmland in North America, in a signal that...
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Industry Statistics and Projected Growth for Organic
The organic industry continues to grow worldwide. This web page from the Organic Trade Association collects statistics regarding this burgeoning...
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E.U. and U.S. Organic Markets Face Strong Demand Under Different Policies
A report from the USDA's Economic Research Service, published February 2006. Organic markets in the European Union member states and the U.S. are...
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Measuring the Economic and Fiscal Impacts Associated with Organic Crop Conversion in Iowa
Summary of this new research, from Iowa's Leopold Center, published March, 2007: "The research demonstrated that there are very strong differences...
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Organic Systems Make Good Economic Sense
Organic farmers are often the first to admit that as they were transitioning to organic systems, their yields declined. Many studies have shown...
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U.S. Certified Organic Livestock, by State
This spreadsheet from the USDA's Economic Research Service gives totals from 2005 for organic livestock by state, including beef, dairy, poultry,...
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Brazilian Coffee Farmer: Organic a Healthy Choice for a Better Quality of Life
This article showcases health and quality of life benefits reaped by a Brazilian coffee farmer who has made the transition to organic production.
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Certified-Organic Dairies on Increase as Consumer Demand Escalates for Product
This article analyzes the impact of the growth in demand for organic milk on businesses and farmers.
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Charts Showing Organic Growth, from the Economic Research Service
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Comparison of Organic and Conventional Corn, Soybean, Alfalfa, Oats and Rye Crops in Iowa
With support from the . Neely-Kinyonorganic LTAR plots became certified organic in 2000. Results from 2001 represent crop yields after one full...
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Connecticut Co-op Expands Organic Sales Statewide
Despite the soggy chill of central Connecticut in March, a steady stream of afternoon shoppers sidestepped mounds of snow to enter a farm stand...
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Dairy Grazing can Provide Good Financial Return
The graziers with the best financial performance in this study from the University of Wisconsin had slightly higher operating expenses per cow,...
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Dairy: Cost and Returns to Organic Dairy Farming in Maine and Vermont for 2004
There is a vacuum of any rigorous, quantified studies on the costs of producing organic milk in the United States despite growth and interest in...
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Dairy: Pastures of Plenty--Financial Performance of Wisconsin Grazing Dairy Farms
Farms using managed grazing typically produce less milk per cow than confinement farms. However, a series of economic studies in Wisconsin and...
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Demand Spikes for Organic Beef
This February 2006 article from Dayton, Ohio discusses the growth in demand for organic beef.
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Economic Trends in Organic Production and Marketing in Washington and Oregon for 2005 and 2006
Certification of organic farm land in Washington and Oregon has shown upward growth for several years and continued that trend in 2005. Washington...
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Flowers: Organic Flower Market Starting to Bloom
Organic flower sales are expected to grow 13 percent annually through 2008, according to the Organic Trade Association. Many in the industry hope...
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Good Growing: Why Organic Farming Worksfee
This book, by Leslie Duram, is a well researched analysis of the ecological, economic and health benefits of organic food production. Packed full...
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Grains: Marketing Organic Grains
Organic grain and oilseed markets are growing, and organic grains can be successfully marketed at premium prices. This publication focuses on food...
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Hospitals Finally Move Toward Organic Food
News story from August, 2006: More than 2,000 hospitals in the U.S. now have access to natural and organic foods, thanks to a deal between...
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Kentucky Farmers Switch from Tobacco to Organic Veggies
A story from World Watch Institute about how traditionalist tobacco farmers are switching to organic farming ... and finding health and economic...
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New Mexico Ranks First in Production of Organic Peanuts, Says New Mexico State University Article
This 2007 article outlines the growth of the organic peanut market, and the high premiums that are available to growers.
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Opportunities for Georgia in the Organic Peanut Market, 2005
The current market for organic peanuts is rapidly increasing. Sunland Peanut Company in New Mexico, the largest organic peanut processor in the...
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Organic & Fair Trade Flowers: The Benefits
A short film describing the benefits of organic and fair trade flower production. Focusing on an organic business in Ecuador selling to the U.S.
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Organic and Wellness News: The International Newspaper for the Organic Trade
The first international and independently owned trade journal for the organic and natural sectors with worldwide distribution. Editorial coverage...
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Organic Eprints: Organic Agriculture Research Materials
Organic Eprints is an international open access archive for papers related to research in organic agriculture. The archive contains full-text...
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Organic Farming Produces Same Corn and Soybean Yields as Conventional Farms, but Consumes Less Energy and No Pesticides, Study Finds
Organic farming produces the same yields of corn and soybeans as does conventional farming, but uses 30 percent less energy, less water and no...
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Organic Harvest: An Action Plan for Local, Organic and Family Farmed Foods
This report, from the Acroecology/Sustainable Agriculture Program at University of Illinois, describes the needs and opportunities in the regional...
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Organic On the Farm - A Producer's View
Bob Kerr from Kerr farms in Canada discusses the reasons why he has moved to organic production on part of his operation. He talks about the...
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Organic Produce, Price Premiums, and Eco-Labeling in U.S. Farmers' Markets
The popularity of farmers' markets in the United States has grown concurrently with organic production and consumer interest in locally and...
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Organic Production Data from the USDA Economic Research Service
A great collection of data on the size and scope of organic in this country: certified organic acreage and livestock numbers, data by crop (in...
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Organic Production Grows Healthy Profits in New Mexico
Monte Skarsgard, owner of Los Poblanos Organics in Albuquerque's North Valley, said sales from his 12-acre vegetable and herb farm grew from...
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Organic--The Land of Opportunity: Steps to Building a Regional Organic
This report from Sustain, covers the many benefits of local, organic agriculture: promoting economic development, preserving open space, producing...
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Price Premiums Hold on as U.S. Organic Produce Market Expands
Price premiums for organic products have contributed to growth in certified organic farmland and, ultimately, market expansion. Fresh produce has...
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Researchers Find that Organic Farming Uses Less Fertilizer and Energy and Supports Greater Biodiversity
Researchers from Switzerland's Research Institute of Organic Agriculture found that the organic farming methods used 26-53% less energy per unit of...
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The Case for Organic Cotton
This Co-op America article details the environmental benefits of organic cotton, and describes the growing market for organic cotton clothing.
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The Status of Organic Agriculture in North Dakota, December 2005
This excellent report takes a close look at organic production and processing in North Dakota—its growth over the past 8 years, the numbers of...
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The U.S. Organic Industry: Important Trends and Emerging Issues for the USDA (2006)
This research paper, from Colorado State University Cooperative Extension's Agribusiness Marketing Report, looks at the growth of organic food...
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