Organic battles climate change

Organic Trade Association members face the challenge head-on with innovative initiatives

Planting trees in the Peruvian Amazon, working with dairy farms to improve soil health, transforming farmland to regenerative agriculture, installing new solar panels, designing fully recyclable or compostable food packaging, reducing food waste. Ambitious, diversified, visionary projects underway by organic companies, with one common goal – to fight against climate change.  

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The Country Hen’s evolution to raising hens outdoors

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.

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Transparency in advocacy

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.

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Organic Regulatory Recap

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.

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Advancing Organic Dairy Livestock Rule through spending bill

For well over a decade, organic dairy farmers have been waiting for consistent rules for transitioning dairy livestock to organic.

The organic regulations allow conventional dairy animals to be transitioned into organic production after being raised organically for one year prior to milk being sold as organic. This was meant to be a one-time allowance so that dairy farms had the opportunity to convert their farm to organic without having to purchase an entirely new herd.

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Creating opportunities for children’s access to organic foods

Approximately once every five years, Congress drafts legislation to reauthorize federal feeding programs that serve children. Commonly referred to as the Child Nutrition Act, the legislation authorizes and funds the national school breakfast and lunch program, after school snacks, the summer feeding program and meals served in daycare centers.

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Public-private partnership between organic and USDA needs repair

Organic is an entirely unique public-private partnership, a voluntary program overseen by third-party private certifiers with the added force of government oversight that has created the most rigorous and transparent set of food standards in the world. Organic farmers and businesses are one of the few industries that want the government to ensure that standards and regulations governing them are robust and stringent. But what happens when the government fails to uphold its end of the bargain?

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The Power of Collaboration

Organic food and agriculture have the potential to change the world. All too often, though, the participants in this sector fragment and expend energy criticizing each other as falling short of their own ideals. However, when we come together and rally around our common vision, we can achieve remarkable results. 

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2018 Farm Bill contains historic wins for U.S. organic sector

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.

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