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Organic Trade Association Applauds Investment of up to $300 Million in New Organic Transition Initiative

Reana Kovalcik
(202) 615-7997
Washington , DC
June 1, 2022
) — 

Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its intention to invest $300 million into a new Organic Transition Initiative program as part of the USDA Food System Transformation Framework. According to USDA: 

“Up to $300 million [will be available to support] a new Organic Transition Initiative to provide comprehensive support for farmers to transition to organic production. Organic production provides producers with the ability to demand a premium in the marketplace and thus take home a greater share of the food dollar; there can also be climate and environmental benefits. This initiative will deliver wrap-around technical assistance, including farmer-to-farmer mentoring; provide direct support through conservation financial assistance and additional crop insurance assistance and support market development projects in targeted markets.” 

In response, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) issued the following statement. 

“Organic has grown from a niche industry to a $63 billion plus market – but for the industry to continue meeting demand and providing economic opportunity to U.S. farmers, production must be scaled up,” says Organic Trade Association CEO and Executive Director Tom Chapman. “USDA's new Organic Transition Initiative will jumpstart that growth by making the organic transition process more accessible and impactful; particularly for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, who experience unique challenges to accessing resources and support programs. This historic investment in food production, which increases options for American farmers to ‘adopt practices that are both good for their businesses and the climate,’ is a significant win for our industry.” 

The new transition program will include core components for which OTA has consistently advocated: organic-specific technical assistance, market development, and updates to USDA farm programs for conservation, crop insurance, and certification cost-share programs. Trade association members emphasized the importance of these critical components in listening sessions and working groups that took place over the course of the last year, culminating in an in-person transition listening session with USDA at Organic Week 2022.