The organic foods industry is responsible for creating thousands of American jobs that would not have existed if the food had been produced through conventional farming methods, according to a new study from the Organic Trade Association. In their report, “2010 Impacts of the U.S. Organic Foods Industry on the U.S. Economy“, the OTA found that for every $1 billion in organic sales, an extra 28,000 jobs were created that wouldn’t have existed otherwise, and the use of organic ingredients created 21% more jobs than the use of ingredients from conventional farming would have.
The study looked at direct, indirect and induced jobs that were created by or for the organic industry, including farming, certification and retail. Because organic farms tend to be smaller and more labour intensive, they require more hands on deck, while the certification process also leads to job creation. At the retail level, organic products tend to rely on smaller stores, also leading to an increase in jobs.
Photo by Peter Blanchard: Flickr