The continued success of our organic sector demands that organic standards be robust, consistent and clear to stay meaningful and maintain the integrity of organic and the organic seal.
Twenty organic farmers—including one major league baseball player—stepped up to the plate for thousands of organic farmers throughout the country when they came to Washington in November to participate in the Organic Trade Association’s first Farmers Advisory Council fly-in and talk with lawmakers and policy officials about organic priorities in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are stepping up to support the advancement of organic agriculture in the United States. These organic champions are publicly advocating for an equal playing field for organic farmers, more research devoted to organic-specific production challenges, and adequate funds for the National Organic Program to maintain the integrity of organic, prevent fraud and uphold organic’s strict standards.
As CEO of an organic marketing company that represents over four thousand acres of organic permanent crop production and more than one hundred and fifty different growers, there are always more than enough concerns to go around, from water, to labor, to new crop diseases. As if that were not enough, all of us, as organic industry players, are fighting the continued struggle of protecting the image and integrity of our common brand and mission: Organic.
Amy’s Kitchen has broken ground in Goshen, NY, for the construction of a 369,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center. Completion is scheduled for 2018, and will create 700 new jobs.
Aurora Organic Dairy Corp. is investing $100 million to build a new dairy processing and warehouse facility in Columbia, MO, to help facilitate distribution to the eastern United States. The company expects the plant to be fully operational in 2019.
I am an organic cotton bale, grown in the U.S. In real life, I am 500 times this size, weighing approximately 500 pounds.
My 500-pound size can typically be produced on less than 1 acre, depending on weather conditions. I can produce 1,217 T-shirts, 215 pairs of jeans, 249 bed sheets or 4,321 socks.
But, I wasn’t always organic. Twenty-five years ago, I was grown conventionally with the help of numerous synthetically produced toxic pesticides and fertilizers. I will tell you how I got here.
Alice Rolls had worked with environmental non-profits for 30 years prior to becoming the Executive Director of Georgia Organics in 2004—a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting Georgia-produced organic food to Georgia families. At that time, there were only 25 certified organic farms in the state.
Organic Dietary Supplements
The Dietary Supplements Council first convened in August 2016 under the leadership of Bethany Davis from FoodState Inc. The aim of the council is to provide a forum for discussing issues, challenges and opportunities related to dietary supplements and to grow the organic supplement sector.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) strongly recognizes the fundamental role organic seed plays in the success of a thriving organic farm system, and over the years has consistently supported the need to improve ongoing efforts to develop and use organic seed and planting stock. We acknowledge, however, that the organic regulations allow for the use of non-organic seed and/or planting stock when organic equivalent varieties are not available in the appropriate quantity, quality or form.