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.
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.
Organic is one of many drivers influencing consumer behavior now and moving forward. The advantage organic has over other influencers is that it has ties to several areas including sustainability, health, motivation and behavioral drivers. These alliances serve to strengthen its position as a leading lady who does best when flanked by her best friends.
The House and Senate are currently conducting conference committee negotiations where they will have to work out the vast differences between their two different versions of the farm bill. They have until September 30 to report a final farm bill, vote on it and pass it in the House and Senate, and then send to the President for signature before the current farm bill expires.
Some 200 organic stakeholders gathered this spring in Washington, D.C., for the Organic Trade Association’s 2018 Policy Conference to talk about the future of organic, and their roles in that future. Meeting in the historic National Press Building where for almost 100 years journalists have heard from American presidents and lawmakers, foreign heads of state, business titans and international celebrities, the organic advocates had a lot on their minds.
The CCOF Foundation is launching “Roadmap to an Organic California,” a new project for 2018 that will make the case for increasing certified organic land in California and recommend state policies to achieve 10 percent certified organic agricultural land by 2030.
Following a public comment period, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in mid-December approved a final consent order settling its first-ever case against a company making false organic product claims.