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

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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.

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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

Brise Tencer: Research, Education and Policy is essential for Organic Agriculture

Brise Tencer is the Executive Director at the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF). She has over 19 years of leadership experience working on organic food policy, farming, and research issues.

I recently caught up with Brise to learn more about the state of organic research, the impact OFRF has made through education and why policy is so important, now more than ever. Continue reading

Everyone Who Eats Should Pay Attention to the Farm Bill

Every 5 years or so Congress passes a far-reaching piece of legislation that influences what food is grown, how it’s grown, and who gets access to healthy food. This, in turn, affects the health of our topsoil, the quality of our water, and the prosperity of those who grow our food.

In addition, the Farm Bill addresses hunger, nutrition, and access to healthy local food. It is also the primary funding for most Organic programs in the US.

Congress is working on Farm Bill language now; if you eat and care about Organic, it’s time to get involved. Continue reading

Organic Fraud in the Marketplace – What it Means for You

The organic industry has been peppered with a spate of news about a few bad actors trying to sell conventional products as organic. Most notably, containers of fraudulent soybeans were found entering the US market from Eastern Europe through Turkish exporters.

This, of course, is bad for US producers who have to compete with prices created from a false supply chain.

It is also bad news for the organic industry as a whole. Every vitriolic headline casts doubt and uncertainty in the heart of the organic consumer. Continue reading