Global Organic Food Industry
The world market for organic food is predicted to exceed $88,000 million by 2015, according to MarketLine, a near 50% increase in five years. Fruit and vegetables represent the leading segment, representing over 30% of the overall market. Americas represent close to 55% of the organic food market worldwide.
Like many other food industry sectors, the organic food market was hit by the global financial crisis as consumers prioritized budgets over other concerns. Yearly growth more than halved in 2009, falling as low as 4.5%, according to Dion Research. With revenues set to pick up again to exceed $60 billion by the close of 2011, the global organic food market will continue to rebound.
Organic food is processed differently to similar products in the same categories, such as fruit and vegetables. Organic produce is grown in soil farmed without the use of pesticides and fertilizers. Organic foods are also produced without other potentially harmful practices such as irradiation and genetic engineering. Organic products adhere to National Organic Program standards and the Organic Foods Production Act. Regulations seek to maintain a balance between farming methods and the ecological system, and to cut down on residue due to water, soil and air pollution.