The booming organic food industry is causing rapid growth at Organically Grown in Gresham, the largest wholesale distributor of organic food in the northwest.
The business in organics is booming, and not just in green-trending Oregon. Even as the rest of the economy sputtered to recover in 2011, organic food sales nationally grew to $29.2 billion, a 9.4 percent increase from the year before. Organic fruit and vegetable sales made up $11.8 billion of the total, and increased nearly 12 percent over 2010 figures. Statistics for 2012 haven't yet been compiled, but the Vermont-based Organic Trade Association expects to see the pattern continue unabated.
The traffic at Organically Grown's Gresham distribution center doesn't fit the old stereotype of Volkswagen vans coming from communal farms and heading to food co-ops. Conventional, large-scale Oregon farmers are increasingly following the money and adopting organic methods, getting certified and selling to distributors like Organically Grown. Trucks leaving the distribution center are often heading toward traditional big-box grocers such as Fred Meyer, Safeway and Albertson's.
Read more at OregonLive.com.