The world was unexpectedly and quickly transformed with the outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19. Pantry buying. Stockpiling staples. Grocery deliveries. Online farmers’ markets with curbside pickup. Baking our own bread. Three meals a day at home. Such has been our new daily life since the onset of the pandemic.
The threat that climate change poses to our world, our ecosystem and our health demands bold policy solutions, and, as the devastating impacts of a warming Earth mount, the push for the development of robust and comprehensive federal climate policy is gaining traction. Organic agriculture can be a part of the solution and help tackle climate change through its ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, store away huge amounts of carbon, and enable farmers to be resilient in an evolving climate.
Chickens outside, standards for shampoo, and strategies for avoiding GMO contamination—that’s just a taste of what organic farmers, businesses, and consumers are asking for. In the past 10 years, the organic industry has advanced 20 consensus recommendations for improvements to the organic standards via the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) but USDA has not completed rulemaking on a single one of them.
For years, organic stakeholders have repeatedly called on USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) to take significant steps to improve oversight of organic systems and enforcement of the USDA organic regulations. The need for this action stems from a rapidly expanding organic market, high demand for organic products, an increasingly complex supply chain, and unfortunately, the growing occurrence of organic fraud.
Currently, all eyes are on the food sector, and in particular, its ability to adapt to the pandemic and to meet the needs of American consumers through our farmers. As the COVID-19 pandemic exposes vulnerabilities throughout our food system, it highlights the call for resiliency at all points in the supply chain to meet the needs of consumers.
Renewal of 2020 Sunset Reviews
Take the first step to fight organic fraud with online training
Organic businesses wanting to protect against organic fraud in their operations can now complete an online training course that is a key component of the Organic Trade Association’s groundbreaking industry-wide Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions, a voluntary program to help minimize and eliminate organic fraud.
The Country Hen was founded by George Bass after his experiences running a commercial poultry operation, complete with its own feed mill, in Bogota, Colombia. The feed ingredients available were grown using heavy amounts of pesticides and herbicides. This weighed heavily on him and, after reading Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” he was inspired to produce eggs based on natural and organic principles, making life better for the birds as well as reducing the chemical exposure for humans.
We invited social media Influencers to advocate for organic alongside the industry during #OrganicWeekDC
This year, Organic Week in Washington, D.C., was all about the organic sector doubling-down on bold ideas and better solutions. In the backdrop of the nation’s capital, more than 200 participants explored leading-edge thinking, discussed bold strategies, and took incremental steps to advance policy and private sector solutions.
Across the value chain, organic producers, processors, retailers, consumers, and other stakeholders are actively engaging to advance organic standards and federal oversight to maintain a strong, trusted, and verified Organic seal.