Despite demand for organic foods growing at double digits over recent decades, supply of organic grains and flour have not kept pace with that demand. Even today, less than 1 percent of the wheat grown in the U.S. is organic, and only a portion of that supply can meet certain benchmarks for functionality.
Behind this lack of supply is the high cost and time-sink associated with transitioning from traditional production to organic and securing organic certification, and the substantial transition period leading to a delay in return on investment for farmers.
Up the chain, organic food producers face challenges during poor production years. When supply is thin, they lack the ability to create organic flour blends to meet functionality targets.
To help alleviate these issues, the USDA and industry leaders and associations such as Ardent Mills, Healthy Food Ingredients, Bunge, and Quality Assurance International are working to develop R&D programs and transitional ingredient programs within the organic grain industry.
Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at email@example.com.