Beginning January 1, 2013, organic certifying agents must test samples from at least 5 percent of the operations they certify on an annual basis. While testing has always been a part of organic product oversight and is required by the Organic Foods Production Act, today's action specifies the minimum amount of testing that must occur. This additional testing will help certifying agents identify and take enforcement action against farms and businesses intentionally using prohibited substances or methods.
The National Organic Program (NOP) is providing additional drought relief to organic ruminant livestock producers. The NOP is also pleased to announce fourteen grants supporting research and marketing of organic agriculture.
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) held its public meeting October 15-18, 2012 in Providence, RI. A complete transcript of this meeting will eventually be posted on the National Organic Program (NOP) website. The meeting agenda is available and the final recommendations will be posted in the near future.
Sarah Brown, Joint Organic Conservation Specialist between NRCS & Oregon Tilth presented on the EQIP Organic Initiative program that is available to certified and transitioning producers. Useful links and a copy of the presentation are now available.
Oregon Tilth has announced the new Certification Director, Connie Karr. Connie's agricultural roots run deep. She grew up working on her family's farm in Oregon's Willamette Valley and she studied agriculture at Oregon State University. Having joined Oregon Tilth 14 years ago, she is an experienced Oregon Tilth employee who has contributed to our significant growth and development.
eOrganic conducted live broadcasts from the the 2nd International Organic Fruit Research Symposium in Leavenworth, Washington on June 19 and 21, 2012. Fifty-five recorded presentations from the symposium on a wide range of organic fruit production and research topics are now available for viewing. These presentations will be of interest to researchers, Extension professionals, growers, consultants, suppliers, and retailers who wish to learn the latest developments in the worldwide organic fruit supply chain.
A clinical report published online today by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) highlighting the many attributes of organic foods provides guidance to parents confused by conflicting marketing messages regarding healthy food choices for their children. Calling the report a major milestone for the organic sector, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) hails it as a confirmation of the significance of the benefits that organic provides.
October 21, 2012 marks the 10-year anniversary of when the USDA organic regulations "went live." As we celebrate this milestone, we recognize the dedication of those involved in organic agriculture's origins, helping it flourish into a thriving sector of the U.S. food system. Additionally, the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service published a first-ever report on organic production.
A primary goal of the Lexicon of Sustainability is the illumination of the vocabulary of sustainable agriculture, local food systems, food politics and culture. The Lexicon of Sustainability hopes to play a role in the education, engagement and activation of people to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America.
The dairy industry has a strong history of managing its environmental impact and contributing to local communities while building business value. U.S. dairy farms and businesses across the value chain continue to find new ways to do more with less so that consumers can continue to feel good about choosing their favorite dairy foods and beverages. The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy is pleased to honor the ‘best of the best’ through the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards.
Washington State University will dedicate the new Eggert Family Organic Farm with a free, public ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at the site of the new facility on the east edge of the Pullman campus off Airport Road. Speakers will include WSU President Elson S. Floyd and Dan Bernardo, vice president for agriculture and extension. The entire Eggert family will attend.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) yesterday announced final revisions to its ‘green’ marketing guides, which include new guidance on marketers’ use of product certifications and seals of approval, renewable energy claims, renewable material claims, and carbon offset claims.
The 2008 Farm Bill expired at midnight Sept. 30, with Congress failing to pass a short-term extension or fully reauthorizing a new farm bill. This puts our nation’s food and agriculture policy in limbo. Marni Karlin, OTA’s Associate Director of Legislative & Legal Affairs, has prepared a summary of the current status of Farm Bill programs that affect the organic sector, and this is now posted on OTA’s Farm Bill page.
The Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) has launched Organic Seed Finder, a free online tool for farmers, certifiers, and others looking to source certified organic seed, at www.organicseedfinder.org. The database aims to facilitate the growth and success of the organic seed sector and support farmers in meeting the National Organic Program's organic seed requirement.
Bhutan Minister of Agriculture and Forests Pema Gyamtsho, announced an ambitious plan to turn food production 100 percent organic by 2020. In a country where 79 percent of the population is involved in agriculture, along with the people’s high spiritual aspirations, going organic sounds like an easy task. But challenges are already in sight.
The National Organic Program (NOP) is pleased to announce USDA-funded online training on two topics: becoming a Technical Service Provider and the conservation benefits of organic practices. USDA also supported an effort to assess the demand for Nevada's locally grown and organic produce within the Hispanic community.
Oregon Tilth and CCOF, two of the nation's oldest organic certification, advocacy and educational organizations, have suspended plans to join forces. Plans for the two organizations to restructure were announced last May.
The National Organic Program (NOP) published a memo in response to the recommendations made at the May 2012 business meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Recently, the Farmers' Legal Action Group (FLAG) published the Farmers' Guide to Organic Contracts. This new resource for the organic community can help organic farmers evaluate, negotiate, and manage contract agreements with buyers of organic farm products.
The National Organic Program (NOP) is requesting comments on an interim rule addressing the use of vitamins and minerals in organic products. Additionally, the NOP updated NOP 2604: Responsibilities of Certified Operations Changing Certifying Agents.