Organic Produce once a fad, has now flourished into a multibillion dollar industry, reaching $35.1 billion in sales in 2013. The Secretary of Agriculture when addressing the Organic Trade Association in May 2013 said 'Organic agriculture is one of the fastest growing segments of American agriculture and helps farmers receive a higher price for their product as they strive to meet growing consumer demand.' This upward trend in organic food will continue to grow as consumers become acutely aware of social sustainability, sense of community, and their willingness to promote opportunities for small farmers to maintain their farming life style. In addition, frequent food recalls and the proliferation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) accentuated the perception of risk associated with the conventional food system and the consumers are looking for safe and naturally grown alternatives in organic food. However, lack of information relating to production and marketing is likely to limit the potential growth of organic agriculture in the U S. Furthermore, we perceive significant potential for an increase in profit margins for organic farmers, but more information needs to be discovered on consumer perceptions and behaviors in the Mid-Atlantic region in order to enable our growers to fully take advantage of the organic market. This projectfocuses mainly on documenting the characteristics of patrons, product attributes of organic produce and developing forecasting models to predict the customer base, patronage rate, spending behavior, and other related characteristics so that farmers can better serve specific population segments to increase profits.
|Effective start/end date||11/13/15 → 9/30/20|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))