Jim Riddle Weighs in on The Future of the GRO Organic Check-Off-Like Program

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After the demise of the USDA mandatory research and promotion check-off attempt, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and Organic Voices (OV) decided to take matters into their own hands. Continue reading

New Organic Consumer Messaging Campaign is Nothing You Should Ever Have to Read

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The demise of a mandatory organic research and promotion check-off program at the hands of the USDA came with great disappointment.

It also kindled a fiery commitment to the idea that something must be done.

Leading companies and individuals weren’t ready to give up the idea that collectively the organic industry could raise funds for research, education and promotion. Continue reading

Happy New Year: Congress Lays a Golden Egg While USDA Doles out a Lump of Coal

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The end of the year has come and gone – a new year is upon us. I spent the holidays as a serial hostess, whipping up fine organic fare for friends and family. Yet the feasting and frolicking did not distract me from the news that affects the things I hold dear – Food and Agriculture.

While we were all preparing for the holidays, we at once received great tidings from Congress alongside a grimy gift from our dear Administration.

This then is the story of The Golden Egg and Lump of Coal that ended 2018. Continue reading

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

Who Will Fund the Challenges Facing Organic Today?

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The political winds are against us. We are in an era of stagnating and dwindling regulatory oversight by the current administration.

Organic seems to be floundering in its own juices.

Trump’s USDA withdrew the final animal welfare rule that consumers and legitimate producers all agreed upon for over decade.

The administration meddled with the NOSB’s work plan, withdrawing work on Aquaculture, Apiculture and Pet Food. There will be no regulations to advance organic in these areas in the near future.

They killed the idea of a check-off that would have raised much-needed funds to bolster our still adolescent industry.

This is indeed an unfriendly crew cutting and slashing rules and opportunities that organic wants. Continue reading