After many years of dialog, there is a proposed research and promotion check-off program designed just for ORGANIC. All that’s needed now is YOUR comment to USDA supporting this game-changing initiative.
The future of organic depends on it. We can either leave consumers guessing about what organic is, or we can come together to educate the public about what the organic seal really means. We can be solely dependent on others for research dollars to help solve industry challenges, or we can generate a pool of funds to help ourselves. We can struggle to meet the growing demand for organic, or we can work together to grow domestic acres and encourage more farmers to transition.
It’s time for organic stakeholders to invest back in our movement. It’s time to fund programs that support organic farmers- of all sizes. It’s time to initiate projects that boost organic businesses- of all types. It’s time to support this progressive proposal to advance organic.
You can also post a comment on the Federal Register by going to Regulations.gov and searching for Docket AMS-SC-16-0112.
The proposed organic check-off would be progressive and reform-based:
- The Check-off Board would bemade up of 50 percent producers and 50 percent handlers.
- Producers will select their regional representatives through direct balloting.
- Every single certificate holder subject to an assessment will have a direct vote – there is no bloc voting.
- Assessments would be made throughout the value chain: producers, handlers, processors, retailers.
- Farmers and handlers with gross organic revenue below $250,000 will choose whether or not to pay into the program.
- At least 50 to 75 percent of the funds would be earmarked specifically for research, or for activities that work hand-in-hand with research, like technical assistance and widespread dissemination of research findings.
- Twenty-five percent of the assessment from producers would be required to be used for local and regional research.
- All of the research, inventions and innovations resulting from organic check-off programing would remain in the public domain.
- A referendum is required every seven years to decide whether or not to continue the program. //