What Do the Midterm Elections Mean for Organic?

Capitol HillI write from the Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand. While I was eating kamura wedges and savoring corn fritters, the people of the US were deciding who would represent them in the halls of Congress. I placed my vote via absentee ballot just before I left.

These red-hot midterms sparked historic turnout. Over 114 million Americans cast their votes. Republicans will remain in control of the Senate in the next 116th Congress while the House will shift to Democratic leadership.

These changes will certainly lead to shifts in federal policymaking and could set the stage for friction between the two chambers as well as the executive branch.

How did Organic Champions Faire? Continue reading

The Last Chapter of My Career: Opportunity, Change and Growth

  • Melody DCIt was the beginning of a new millennium. The year 2000 had come with no calamities or misfortunes, but it did bring the winds of change.

I had built a small brokerage business that for six years had linked organic produce growers with receivers across the country. Yet a wrinkle was forming in the fabric of my business model that would change my life forever. Continue reading

Headwinds and Hope : Organic Week in DC

Capitol Hill

This not so much a factual account of my week in DC but rather a philosophical musing of the state of organic today.

I knew full well the political atmosphere in DC when I arrived—it is muddled with shear turbulence. So too the organic industry is experiencing a bumpy trajectory even as it streams ahead with over 6% growth.

Organic has been under a barrage of political threats and media scandals that just don’t seem to stop. Continue reading

Why Did the Organic Check-off Die an Untimely Death?

watermelon
Back in 2010, I was on the board of The Organic Trade Association (OTA). At the time, we had a brilliant idea on how to grow organic agriculture. An Organic Research and Promotion Program or Check-Off would have provided an estimated $30 million annually for the organic community.

Continue reading

Are We on the Brink of an Organic Crisis?

When Congress passed the Organic Food Production Act (OFPA) many years ago, it formed a federal advisory committee to develop and recommend organic standards and review materials in organic production. This 15-member volunteer board has worked diligently over the past 26 years updating the standards and making recommendations for continuous improvement.

Some members of Congress would like to rewrite the very meaning of what the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) does. This transparent public process, so unique to organic, is on the brink of being undermined in the next Farm Bill.    Continue reading