Increased Consumption and Demand
More consumers are realizing the potential harms of conventional agriculture and therefore demanding organic product options. Along with this, the global population and wealth are increasing, leading to a larger organic consumer base.
Distributors have recognized this demand, and more stores are stocking organic products, leading to increased sales and revenue. In the past ten years, sales of organic products have more than doubled with more than $52.5 billion in sales in 2018. In 2018, more than 14% of the fruits and vegetables sold in the US were certified organic.
This increased consumption of organically-produced products has increased the demand for organic inputs, including organic fertilizers.
Due to consumer interest in and demand for sustainable organic produced products, producers are able to sell organic products at a higher price than their conventional alternatives. Depending on the specific product, price premiums for organic foods range from 30 % - 100 % higher. This high sales price provides producers with increased margins and net revenue for their crops.
The organic market consists of organic food products including produce, meat, grains, and dairy. US producers of organic food are required to follow regulations set by the USDA. Some of these regulations include:
No genetically modified organisms (GMOs), synthetic fertilizers, or synthetic pesticides.
Maintenance of healthy soils through practices including crop rotation and cover crops.
Completion of certification audits.
Despite more producers switching to organic methods, there is still a shortage of US-produced organic products, especially corn. In order to fulfill market demand for organic animal products, producers must currently import organic feed.
The organic fertilizer market consists of a variety of products including mined materials, green manures, and agricultural byproducts. The major sources of organic phosphorus fertilizer are rock phosphates, bat or bird guano, and bone meal.
Due to consumer demand, sales of organic products have experienced an average annual growth of over 10 % in the last ten years. This trend is predicted to continue.
In order to meet this demand and capitalize on the increased margins, more farmers are switching over to organic production.
With this increase in organic sales, organic fertilizer input sales are also increasing. The global organic fertilizer market is predicted to have a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% during 2019-2023.
The demand for phosphate also continues to increase. Between 2018-2030, the annual demand for phosphate will increase from 140 million tons to 171 million tons.