The organic movement broadly refers to the organizations and individuals involved worldwide in the promotion of organic farming, which is a more sustainable mode of agriculture. Its history goes back to the first half of the 20th century, when modern large-scale agricultural practices began to appear.
The organic movement began in the early 1900s in response to the shift towards synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides in the early days of industrial agriculture. It lay dormant for many years, kept alive by a relatively small group of ecologically minded farmers. These farmers came together in various associations: Demeter International of Germany, which encouraged biodynamic farming and began the first certification program, the Australian Organic Farming and Gardening Society, the Soil Association of the United Kingdom, and Rodale Press in the United States, along with others. In 1972 these organizations joined to form the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). In recent years, environmental awareness has driven demand and conversion to organic farming. Some governments, including the European Union, have begun to support organic farming through agricultural subsidy reform. Organic production and marketing have grown at a fast pace.
Organic food was initially seen as a fad observed by the eccentric few, however today it has become more widespread. "Organics have come to represent a safe house in a disturbing world where food quality and safety are constantly under siege" (Blythman). Today, whole foods stores have captured a significant share of the grocery shopping market, specifically, Whole Foods Market, Wild Oats, and others.
One of the pioneers was John Battendieri. Battendieri pressed his first batch of "Mr. Natural" apple juice in 1972, making it one of the first packaged organic products.
Source: Wikipedia, "Organic movement", available under the CC-BY-SA License.