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Organic peanut cooperative seeks farmers for 2020 crop

The Georgia Organic Peanut Association (GOPA), a farmer-owned marketing cooperative, is planning two upcoming meetings for producers interested in growing Certified Organic peanuts in 2020.

Due to concerns about the coronavirus, no dates have been set at this time. However, these meetings will take place in Tifton and Metter as soon as possible. Crop insurance agents and buyers of Certified Organic commodities have committed to attend. Lunch will be provided for all participants.

Farmers who would like to attend or receive more information about the Georgia Organic Peanut Association should submit their contact information through the cooperative’s website: https://www.organicpeanuts.farm/grow. A GOPA representative will communicate meeting details and other updates directly to producers who have entered their information as soon as they become available.

“Buyer interest has surpassed what we expected,” said Ronny Shingler, GOPA chairman of the board. “People know that the best peanuts come from Georgia, and now they know we have the best organic peanuts, too.”

“We’re looking forward to expanding our output in 2020 to meet the growing demand for Certified Organic products in the marketplace,” he said.

The Organic Trade Association reports that nationwide sales of Certified Organic food have grown by 6.2 percent on average since 2017 — compared to 2.3 percent growth for all food categories.

Per the latest data from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, sales of Certified Organic commodities in Georgia jumped from $19,964,000 in 2015 to $135,101,000 in 2017.

The Georgia Organic Peanut Association was formed in 2019 to market Certified Organic commodities from any producer in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.