Proceedings: Has the Organic Bubble Burst? Current Trends in Organic Tree Fruit Production
Kirby, Elizabeth M.
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Is there a bubble for organic fruit? Probably not. Global production of all organic horticultural crops has expanded dramatically over the past several years, increasing 56% from 2005 to 2008, compared to a 10% increase in all organically managed land during the same period (Granatstein et al., 2010). At the same time, organic produce sales in the U.S. increased from 9.8% of all produce sales in 2008 to 11.4% in 2009 despite the economic recession, and represented 38% of all organic retail food sales (OTA, 2010). Over 1.25 million acres of organically managed fruits worldwide were identified in 2008 (Granatstein et al., 2010). Organic grapes were the largest fruit category (371,000 acres) and represented 2.0% of all grape area worldwide. Organic pome (106,000 acres) and stone (88,000) fruits represented 0.7% of their category worldwide. In the U.S., organic apples generated the largest sales value of any organic fruits ($138 million from 20,000 acres) in 2008, with all organic fruit production valued at $413 million (NASS, 2009). Washington State had the second highest farmgate value for organic fruits (over $150 million) after California.