Innovations in Organic Marketing, Technology and Research

Organic foods are a rapidly growing segment of the food system in the United States and Europe. Yet little is known about the economic relationships between organic farmers, food processors and other links in the organic food chain. This workshop, sponsored by USDA’s Economic Research Service and Farm Foundation, was part of a major effort to develop a foundation of information for economic analysis of organic agriculture and the organic food system.

The October 2005  workshop explored key challenges and opportunities facing the organic industry today, including:

  • Producer options and obstacles
  • Market growth
  • Strategies for organic sector development
  • Broadening the education infrastructure in oganic agriculture
  • Measuring and communicating the benefits of organic food production
  • Building a research base for organic production

Workshop partners included USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, Agricultural Research Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, National Agricultural Library, the Office of the Chief Economists. Other workshop partners included the National Association of State Organic Programs (NASOP), the Organic Trade Association and the Organic Farming Research Foundation.

Here is the workshop program:

Setting the Scene
Kitty Smith, USDA-ERS and Virginia Guzman, USDA-RMA
Thomas Dobbs, South Dakota State University
Assessing Producer Options and Obstacles
Kent Yeager, Indiana Farm Bureau
Leslie Duram, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
George Siemon, Organic Valley
Terry Wolf, owner, Wolf Farms
Assessing Market Growth
Carolyn Dimitri, USDA ERS
Don Harris, Wild Oats
Melanie DuPuis, University of California, Santa Cruz
Organic Innovations in the United States and Italy
Jerry DeWitt, Iowa State University
Panel: Strategies to Facilitate Organic Sector Development
Panel Members:
Otto Doering, Purdue University
Ferd Ho


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