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Producer Groups: Empowering Small Farmers Around the World

Recent coverage of a lawsuit filed by an Oregon hazelnut farmer against the USDA for certification of producer groups has headlined "Vast Fraud," "Illegal Imports," and "Shadow Certifications," but these stories misalign disputes over organic policy and international trade manipulation with allegations of fraud.

National Organic Standards Board discusses enforcement, transition, and new regulations

On October 24-26, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) held its biannual public meeting in Providence, RI. The primary purpose of NOSB meetings is to provide an opportunity for organic stakeholders to give input on proposed NOSB recommendations and discussion items. The meetings also allow NOSB to receive updates from USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) on issues pertaining to organic agriculture. The meeting got underway with a call to order and opening remarks from Dr. Jennifer Tucker, the National Organic Program (NOP) Deputy Administrator.

Long-awaited Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards (OLPS) rule finalized

Our hard work has paid off – thank you! 

Today the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is celebrating the long-awaited strengthening of organic animal welfare standards by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This action by the department is a major win for organic producers, consumers and for all of you who have steadily advocated for more robust regulations. 

Farm Bill: Fight for critical advancement of organic

This week, legislation was introduced in Congress that could be critical for the continued success of organic. The bipartisan Continuous Improvement and Accountability in Organic Standards (CIAO) Act guarantees that organic standards will keep evolving and improving, and it holds the federal government accountable for keeping up with the needs and expectations of the dynamic organic marketplace.  

Advocating for Critical Organic Infrastructure in the Farm Bill

On September 27, 2023, champions of our domestic food system introduced the Organic Market Development (OMD) Act. The bill was led in the Senate by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. Angus King (I-ME), Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and its companion bill was led in the House by Rep. Anne Kuster (D-NH), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-OR). The legislation will go far in unlocking the potential of the organic marketplace and ensuring the continued growth of organic in the United States.

How to ensure continuous improvement in organic

A critical component and distinguishing characteristic of the USDA organic program is the industry’s ongoing commitment to participate in the reevaluation of standards to ensure the label remains consistent with the intentions of the organic community.

Specialty crop grants awarded to 18 projects featuring organic

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) was first incorporated in the Farm Bill in 2008 to support specialty crop producers and consumers. Since then, SCBGP has been an important program for organic specialty crop producers, who have faced increasing market demand for decades. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized SCBGP at historic levels, with a mandatory $85 million available per year. 

Organic Trade Association urges USDA to expand support for dairy Farmers

UPDATE: USDA Announces Top Off to 100% of Projected Marketing Costs 

On September 20, 2023, USDA announced a second round of payments would be disbursed automatically to producers who have been approved through the Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program (ODMAP). The Farm Service Agency reported $15 million had been paid out already for 75% of projected 2023 marketing costs. The second round of payments would increase assistance by 25% to 100% of projected marketing costs. 

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USDA Announces $185 Million in Funding to Advance Organic at Organic Week 2023

Last week, the Organic Trade Association gathered with organic businesses from across the supply chain, coalition partners, scientists, advocates and policymakers in the nation’s capital for Organic Week 2023. Leaders in organic farming, business and science discussed complex organic issues including plastics in the supply chain, cultivating diversity in the sector, and projects to maximize the industry’s climate benefits.

2023 Farm Bill Policy Priorities for Organic

The Farm bill sets U.S. federal agriculture policy and is reauthorized by Congress through the House and Senate Agriculture Committees roughly every five years. It includes titles covering nutrition, commodities, conservation, trade, rural development, research, forestry, energy, horticulture and organic agriculture, livestock, crop insurance, and more. In addition to updating programs and policies, Congress also determines the funding levels for various programs at USDA.

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