Lori Dahm, technical editor
The dairy industry is certainly not unaware of the growth of the organic sector. I attended the Natural Products Show in Anaheim last month, which was an impressive demonstration of the power and momentum of the organic movement. The excitement and energy at the show was heightened and palpable — attendance was a record 45,000 and the supplier side of the show was expansive.
But there was something different this year. I think the organic industry is currently experiencing a schism, embodied by the traffic in Anaheim being completely jammed up by the number of attendees who rented cars for this year’s show. I mean, who was this flood of people attending a “green” show but unwilling to use the show buses and public transportation?
And therein lies the rub — larger companies and suppliers who have not yet had their toehold in the organic market are now scrambling to profit from the unheralded growth of organics. However, when not entering the organic proposition from a place of environmental consciousness, is the result destined to go awry?
I think the organic industry is at an important crux, wherein future growth will necessitate navigating through this dilemma, as organic struggles to maintain its altruistic identity while finding a means of meeting consumer demand.
After all, the consumer has spoken, and the “organic” label translates to gold.