Organic: Still a trend-setter in food and agriculture

As shifts in food and ag proliferate, organic stays relevant and sets the bar

Last holiday season, we hosted over a two-week period our Keto-eating millennial relative (LOTS of meat), our vegan/plant-based friend (NO meat), along with other various flexitarian (SOMETIMES meat, depending on the day), grass-fed-milk-drinking (self-explanatory), Weight Watchers-following (Purple plan -- count the points!) and I’ll-eat-anything family members and acquaintances. The one common thread in all the menu preparations? As much organic food and organic ingredients as possible. 

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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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Organic companies explore cutting their use of plastic

Finding solutions to plastic pollution is a growing concern for many organic companies--and consumers. For Javier Zamora, owner of JSM Organics on California’s Central Coast, using non-plastic packaging is a choice he made more than three years ago for packing berries and vegetables.

“A lot of our customers were concerned about the use of plastic clamshell packaging, and it was also a personal concern for me,” he says.

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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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GRO Organic investments explore technical assistance

The Organic Trade Association’s Member Day in D.C. in May. kicked off with a crucial discussion on the long-term challenge of providing technical assistance for organic production.  Members heard about two major initiatives, both focused on “training the trainers” to expand the supply of organically fluent educators.

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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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Organic Produce Perspective: Talking with Bruce Taylor of Taylor Farms

Mike Menes is the Vice President of Food Safety & Technology for True Organic Products, and a member of Organic Trade Associations Board of Directors. He sat down with Bruce Taylor, whose company, Taylor Farms, recently acquired Earthbound Farm, to discuss values, sustainability, and Taylor’s not-so-secret wish for a drone air force. 

Mike: Can you speak to the values that power Taylor Farms?

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