The United States is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of conventionally grown grains. America’s farmers grow and ship out to foreign destinations vast amounts of cereal grains and grain legumes. But the production of organic grains in this country has been slow to take off, even as demand for organic grains has grown to unprecedented levels.
Mark Winne has 45 years of experience in the food movement, starting in 1971 as a college student when he successfully raised $300 to start a local breakfast program for low-income children. Since that success, he has overseen the Hartford Food System, co-founded the Community Food Security Coalition, serves as a Senior Advisor at the Johns Hopkins Center for Livable Future, and is a popular speaker and author of several books.
Whether you are an organic fruit or vegetable farmer, a livestock producer, a dairyman, an organic food or fiber processor or a distributor or retailer, stalled organic standards development, rooting out fraud in the organic industry, and conducting rulemaking on the tools available to certified organic operations were the key regulatory themes for the organic sector in 2018.
Over the past three years, the Organic Trade Association and its members have been heavily engaged in shaping and advancing key priorities for the organic sector in the new farm bill. It started with a survey sent out in fall 2016 to certified organic operations around the country asking for feedback on what the challenges and needs were for organic. The survey results helped inform our farm bill policy priorities.
Food fraud, or the act of defrauding buyers of food or ingredients for economic gain, has plagued the food industry throughout history. Although it is not known conclusively how widespread food fraud is in the United States or worldwide, it is now estimated to be a $50 billion industry for the total food market --about the same size as the entire 2017 U.S. organic market.