Organic Foods

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Information @ a Glance


  • Organic foods are produced according to certain production standards, meaning they are grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste, or sewage sludge, and that they were processed without ionizing radiation or food additives.
  • Livestock are reared without the routine use of antibiotics and without the use of growth hormones.
  • Processed organic food usually contains only organic ingredients, or where there are a number of ingredients, at least a minimum percentage of the plant and animal ingredients must be organic


  • The last few years have seen significantly increased interest in organic food, that is, food grown using those husbandry principles and techniques that predated the introduction of modern agrochemicals and intensive farming methods.
  • These husbandry principles are now applied with the benefit of modern scientific understanding and technologies to give a more sustainable system of food production.
  • The production of organic food requires the same involvement of professional food scientists and technologists and is subject to the same requirements of good manufacturing practice and food safety as the rest of the food industry, but is also subject to specific additional legal requirements regarding cultivation, composition and labelling.
Market & Report
  • Organic food sales have grown by 17 to 20 percent a year for the past few years[63] while sales of conventional food have grown at only about 2 to 3 percent a year.
  • Industry estimates suggest that nearly half of the $7.8 billion spent on organic food in 2000 was purchased in conventional retail outlets.
  • Growing consumer demand for organic products has been manifested in the market in many ways. Acreage of certified organic farmland is increasing to meet growing consumer demand.
  •  According to the most recent USDA estimates, U.S. certified organic cropland doubled between 1992 and 1997, to 1.3 million acres.
  • The new U.S. Department of Agriculture standards for organic food, slated to be fully implemented
    by October 2002, are expected to facilitate further growth in the organic foods industry.
  • Organic food sales surpassed $1 billion in 2006, accounting for 0.9% of food sales in Canada.

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