Organic certification ensures the integrity of organic products around the world. The National Organic Program (NOP) has initiated a new program to reduce paperwork and other burdensome aspects of organic certification while maintaining high standards, ensuring compliance, and protecting organic integrity. This 'Sound and Sensible' initiative involves identifying and removing barriers to certification, streamlining the certification process, focusing enforcement on egregious violations, and correcting small issues before they become larger ones.
The National Organic Program (NOP) has posted the eleventh blog in the Organic 101 series: Almost 25,000 Certified Operations at Your Fingertips. Also, check out the recent article on the growth of the U.S. organic export industry.
Consumer demand for organic drinks is thriving, and it’s clear that beverage companies are taking notice. From juices and smoothies to colas and energy drinks, marketers are introducing products in a bevy of categories to satisfy the growing thirst for organic beverages.
After sixteen years as a partner at Luscher Farm, Oregon Tilth has notified the City of Lake Oswego that that they will be departing the site at the end of April 2013. Oregon Tilth created the Organic Education Center (OEC) program as a collaborative project with the City of Lake Oswego.
Join representatives from the OTA, OMRI, Organically Grown Company, and Oregon Tilth for drinks, organic Hors d'oeuvres and live music by Dirty Spoon.
The National Organic Program is pleased to publish the 2012 list of certified organic operations. As of the end of 2012, 17,750 organic farms and processing facilities in the United States were certified to the USDA organic standards. Worldwide, there are now approximately 25,000 certified organic operators in more than 100 countries.
The National Organic Program (NOP) wants to alert the organic trade and public to the presence of two fraudulent organic certificates.
The National Organic Program (NOP) is providing a new point of contact for Organic Cost Share Programs. Your previous contact, Patricia Atkins, will be deploying to the Pentagon for the next few months - we wish her well!
Results from the latest consumer survey conducted for the Organic Trade Association (OTA) reveal that as U.S. families are becoming increasingly aware of the presence of unlabeled genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods in the marketplace, they turn to organic as the food labeled by law to not have been made with genetically engineered ingredients.
The Organic Center has named 15 persons to its new Board of Trustees, and formally introduced them at its sold-out fundraiser dinner March 9 held in conjunction with Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA.
The National Organic Program (NOP) has posted two new reports on its website. Both reports were completed in response to the USDA Office of Inspector General's Organic Milk Audit Part 1 published in 2012. The NOP currently posts a searchable list of certified organic operations once a year. While we have received feedback that this tool is useful for website visitors, a more modernized system is needed to provide up-to-date information about certified organic operations across the supply chain, and to increase the NOP's ability to oversee a growing network of certifiers and operators.
USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) has announced new changes to the Federal crop insurance program for organic farming practices. On Feb. 22, 2013, USDA's Office of Inspector General issued an audit of the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) Federal crop insurance program for organic farming practices. The audit found that Transitional yields* (T-Yield), offered to organic growers generally exceeded what they had produced using organic farming practices for the crop years of 2008-2010.
Although Washington is getting a lot of buzz on its labeling bill, Oregon is also a hotbed of activity in the fight against genetically engineered (GE) crops. Citizens in Jackson County (in Southern Oregon) have successfully achieved getting a GE crop ban on the May 2014 ballot. Citizens in four other Oregon counties are also hard at work on similar county GE crop bans.
The million-strong Organic Consumers Association (OCA), North America’s leading watchdog over organic and fair trade standards, announced today at the national Expo-West Natural Products convention, along with its allies in the organic and natural health community, a new nationwide campaign: the Organic Retail and Consumer Alliance (ORCA). This new alliance of public interest groups and food producers and retailers, including co-ops, natural food stores, farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) buying clubs and wholesalers, will aggressively promote organic food and products, and expose and eliminate the misleading practice of “natural” labeling and marketing that has slowed the growth of America’s $30-billion dollar organic sector.
Organic Producer is an online free subscription exploring organic topics. Watch their interview with Aaron Zeis, Oregon Tilth Certification Officer.
USDA’s Risk Management Agency this week announced the removal, starting in 2014, of the five percent premium surcharge assessed against all organic farmers seeking federal crop insurance. This penalty against organic farming has been an issue NSAC has campaigned against for nearly a decade and we are delighted to finally report significant progress.
According to a new report by the Sustainable Food Trade Association (SFTA), organic food companies are increasingly adopting a wide range of sustainability initiatives. Indeed, according to the first SFTA Annual Member Sustainability Report, member companies used less energy, created less waste, reduced their carbon footprints, and donated to the community considerably more in 2011 (the reporting year) than the previous year.
The Organic Center has signed an agreement with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) for ARS scientists to conduct targeted research on the factors affecting the presence of arsenic in organically grown rice. Making this research possible is a $50,000 grant to The Organic Center from the newly formed UNFI Foundation.
The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements announced the formation of a new group to advance organic agriculture research. Known as the Technology Innovation Platform of IFOAM (TIPI), the new group will address innovation and technology transfer needs in organic agriculture. TIPI will foster international cooperation; engage all who benefit from advances in knowledge; facilitate information exchange; and assist practitioners to disseminate, apply and implement innovations and scientific knowledge consistent with the principles of Organic Agriculture.
A new study at Oregon State University (OSU) has shown that dairy cows fed flaxseed produce more nutritious milk, including more omega-3 fatty acids and less saturated fat, than that produced by cows fed a traditional feed mixture of corn, grains, alfalfa hay and grass silage. In the study, ten pregnant cows at OSU’s dairy were fed different amounts of flaxseed. Collaborators in OSU’s food science and technology department then turned the milk produced into butter and fresh cheese, and then tested them for texture and nutritional composition.