Ag News: Organic Demand Up and SNAP Benefits Increase
**As cooking at home spiked during the pandemic, that created a boon for organic farmers and producers.
According to the Organic Trade Association, the U.S. market for organic products jumped by more than 12% to nearly $62 billion in 2020.
California accounts for 20% of America’s organic farm acreage and 90% of shoppers in the Golden State buy organic products.
**COVID is again creating concerns about delayed product movement in China.
Since a July outbreak of the Delta variant, the Chinese government has imposed strict countermeasures in affected areas to try and contain the virus.
U.S. Meat Export Federation senior vice president Joel Haggard says China's heightened restrictions have not yet had a significant impact on red meat demand, but the situation has prompted more cold storage inspections, raising concerns about shipping delays.
**The USDA has released a re-evaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan, used to calculate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
As a result, the average SNAP benefit will increase 21%, or $36.24 per person, per month, for Fiscal Year 2022 beginning on October 1 of this year.
It’s the first time the purchasing power of the plan has changed since it was introduced in 1975, reflecting notable shifts in the food marketplace and consumers’ circumstances over the past 45 years.