The Organic Trade Association (OTA) reported that market reached last year $47 billion in sales, with an increase of almost $3.7 billion from the previous year.

Organic food sales increased by 8.4 percent, ($3.3 billion) from the previous year, while the growth rate in the overall food market was a mere 0.6 percent. Organic food in the North American country now accounts for 5.3 percent of total food sales.

 Sales of organic non-food products were up 8.8% in 2016, also handily surpassing the overall non-food growth rate of 0.8 percent.

 The information is included in the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) 2017 Organic Industry Survey released Wednesday at the OTA’s Annual Policy Conference.

 The survey also showed that the organic sector is creating jobs, a trend that will continue this year. “The organic industry continues to be a real bright spot in the food and ag economy both at the farm-gate and check-out counter,” said OTA’s CEO and Executive Director Laura Batcha. “The theme of our conference is ‘Organic. Big Results from Small Seeds’ because of the wide and positive impact of organic,” noted Batcha. “Organic farmers are not just staying in business, they’re often expanding. Organic handling, manufacturing and processing facilities are being opened, enlarged and retooled. Organic farms, suppliers, and handlers are creating jobs across the country, and the organic sector is growing and creating the kinds of healthy, environmentally friendly products that consumers are increasingly demanding.”

OTA’s 2017 Organic Industry Survey was conducted and produced on behalf of OTA by Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ). The survey was conducted from February 2, 2017, through March 31, 2017. More than 200 companies responded to the survey. Executive summaries of the survey are available upon request. Order the full report