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.
Acting on a recommendation of the association’s Farmers Advisory council (FAC), the Board of Directors of the Organic Trade Association has voted unanimously for congressional action on two tracks to help farmworkers now and in the future. The trade association seeks both passage for immigration reform giving undocumented farmworkers a pathway to legal status, and action to safeguard the well-being of these workers during the current coronavirus outbreak.
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.
California is committed to reducing its contribution to climate change. The Golden State targets cutting its greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Recognizing that organic agriculture is a proven strategy in slashing emissions, the CCOF Foundation is spearheading a stakeholder process to develop policies that support and expand the organic sector.
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.
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.
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.