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Biden-Harris Transition Memo

The Organic Trade Association congratulates President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory, and we look forward to working with their team.

Organic is an increasingly important part of American agriculture and represents one of the fastest growing food and farming sectors in the U.S. and global marketplace. Organic provides economic opportunities for farmers, creating jobs and lifting rural economies, while also utilizing sustainable farming practices that are proven to help mitigate the threat of climate change. Organic also provides a safe, healthy choice to consumers, who are increasingly seeking out the trusted Organic seal on the food and products they purchase for their families.

The Organic Trade Association is eager to work with a new administration to develop policies that advance organic. Strong leadership at the U.S. Department of Agriculture that understands the important role of organic agriculture, is attuned to the needs of the sector and engages with stakeholders in a transparent, public process is needed to ensure organic can continue to thrive.   

DOWNLOAD THE FULL TRANSITION MEMO


TOP PRIORITIES

1. Ensure organic has a seat at the table in climate discussions
2. Restore leadership within the OSEC-MRP mission area
3. Reinstate the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule
4. Publish a final rule on the Origin of Livestock
5. Publish an interim final rule that encompasses the backlog of standards
6. Establish a new framework for standards development
7. Restore the Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Policy Advisor role
8. Embed organic within USDA research programs
9. Integrate organic into federal nutrition and procurement programs
10. Restore full funding for organic certification cost-share
11. Reform Federal Milk Marketing Orders
12. Improve crop insurance and USDA risk management tools


FOCUS ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Our top priority for the Biden-Harris administrations is to ensure organic has a seat at the table in climate discussions particularly in the development of any certification-type programs that incentivize climate-friendly farm practices.

“Soil is the next frontier for storing carbon”
Biden-Harris plan

The Biden-Harris plan to fight climate change recognizes that farmers are on the frontlines of a changing climate and must be a central part of the solution by building healthy resilient soils that sequester more carbon. The Biden-Harris plan calls for increased investments in federal agricultural research that serves the public not just private companies, a dramatic expansion of conservation practices that help farmers improve soil health such as cover cropping, and establishment of a voluntary carbon market that rewards farmers for the carbon they sequester and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The science says:

  • organic soils already sequester 26% more carbon than soils from non-organic farms according to the National Soil Lab inventory
  • organic farms emit 18% less global warming potential than other farming systems
  • organic farms use around 50% less new reactive nitrogen, a potent greenhouse gas
  • organic farms have 30% more species and up to 50% more pollinators than conventional farms 

Stronger federal support for organic can maximize its benefits as a climate mitigation tool!

Organic production has always required practices that advance sustainability in agriculture like crop rotation, cover cropping, building soil health, increasing biodiversity, and reducing nutrient pollution. The prohibition of the most toxic agricultural chemicals in organic farming benefits the environment, and reduces farmworker exposure and improves occupational health.


Contact

Megan DeBates
Vice President, Government Affairs
(202) 403-8643

Laura Batcha
Executive Director/CEO
(202) 403-8512