(UNDATED) – Farmers and consumers choose the organic option for many reasons.
The goal of the National Organic Program is to protect that choice by taking the profit out of fraud and ensuring organic integrity from farm to table, so consumers trust the organic label. One measure of that trust is the continued growth in the number of farms and businesses receiving USDA organic certification.
USDA has released the annual count of certified organic operations calculated from the USDA National Organic Program Organic INTEGRITY Database.
The number of certified organic operations worldwide grew to 45,578 in 2020 with 28,454 — more than 62 percent — located in the United States. California remains the leader domestically with more than 5,000 certified operations. The Great Lakes Region, Pacific Northwest, and Iowa continue to round out the top ten.
The federal organic regulations currently require certifiers to annually submit a set of basic facts regarding all certified operations to the Organic Integrity Database. The database also includes many optional fields, like acreage, that can aid in oversight and enforcement.