With the close of the public comment period for the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed regulations on produce safety and preventive controls for facilities that manufacture human food, Congress submitted a number of letters to FDA on important issues in the proposed rules.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the start of the 2014 enrollment process for farmers and ranchers who want to participate in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).
Think a family on a budget can’t eat all organic all the time? Think again. With proper planning and preparation, families of four can enjoy three organic meals every day for less than $25, according to tips and recipe suggestions offered by the Organic Trade Association (OTA).
Researchers at the Xerces Society published a report this year detailing the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on beneficial insects such as bees, lady beetles, and earthworms. The paper, entitled “Beyond the Birds and the Bees,” provides a comprehensive review of the growing body of research on harmful effects that neonicotinoids have on these invertebrates, and makes recommendations on how to protect beneficial insects.
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) wants to alert the organic trade and public to the presence of two fraudulent organic certificates.
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service is pleased to highlight several exciting updates for the organic community: New grass fed beef Market News report, Informative webinars for the produce industry, U.S. certified organic acreage report, USDA efforts to expand agroforestry practices, Program Handbook update.
After reviewing a number of factors, such as facility scheduling and participant availability, we are confirming that we will not reschedule the Board's fall meeting. Instead, the Board will meet as scheduled for its next public meeting in San Antonio, Texas the week of April 28, 2014.
Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), with co-hosts Washington State University, Oregon State University, and eOrganic, will hold its 7th Organic Seed Growers Conference in Corvallis, OR, from January 30 – February 1, 2014. The conference begins with a full-day tour of seed enterprises in the Willamette Valley, home to a premier seed-growing region and industry. The two-day conference that follows features presentations, panel discussions, and networking events around the theme: Innovation in the Field.
A newly released publication, Conservation Buffers in Organic Systems: Western State Implementation Guide, provides guidance on installing buffers in organic production systems to meet the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) regulations. Part of a five‐guide series, this resource will enable the Federal Environmental Quality Incentives (EQIP) Program, especially the EQIP Organic Initiative, to be more responsive to and valuable for organic farmers.
U.S. consumer demand for organically produced goods has grown continuously since USDA established national standards for organic production and processing in 2002. According to new ERS estimates, the U.S. had 3.1 million acres of certified organic cropland in 2011 and 2.3 million acres of certified organic pasture and rangeland, continuing the long-term growth trend in this sector.
Oregon Tilth is pleased to announce that there are no increases in general certification fees for 2014. We have made adjustments to certain parts of the Fee Schedule in order to solidify some new services we are growing. These changes will be effective January 5th, 2014.
Ecotrust and Edible Portland have released a three-video series, Oregon Mushroom Stories, to share our wonder and excitement about the mycological world of the Pacific Northwest.
School food is a relatively untapped and reliable market for farmers. Relationships between farmers and schools benefit local communities, and provide some of the healthiest, freshest food to children. The state of Oregon recently awarded more than $1M in grants to Oregon schools to buy local foods, which means that Oregon schools are more able to afford local food than ever before. Ecotrust is excited to be able to provide FREE assistance to help farmers and other food producers in Oregon to make connections and sell to these school districts.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) launched a new website to promote the benefits of organic fiber to the environment, farmers, and the public. Choosing organic cotton gives control to farmers instead of GM companies, eliminates hazardous synthetic pesticides, helps farmers feed their families, save precious water, and combats climate change.
On October 3rd, the Sunset 2013 final rule was published in the Federal Register. This action becomes effective on November 3, 2013. The "Sunset 2013" final rule implements recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to address 13 listings on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. This action affects the crops and processing sections of the National List, renewing 12 listings for five years and removing one listing.
The Organic Center (The Center) today announced the names of 24 scientists who have agreed to serve on its newly formed Science Advisory Board. “We are pleased with the response from prominent scientists to serve on our Science Advisory Board,” said Jessica Shade, Ph.D., The Organic Center’s Director of Scientific Programs. She added, “All are distinguished researchers who are recognized for excellence in the field of organic research.”
OTA’s International Department is gearing up for Natural Products Expo West in March in Anaheim and more specifically the Reverse Trade Mission that we will be hosting. Reverse Trade Missions are an opportunity for U.S. organic companies to meet with foreign buyers to discuss export opportunities and generate sales. To organize the best event we possibly can, we would like to hear from you!
The recipients of the 2013 Oregon Organic Coalition (OOC) Awards For Excellence were announced at a celebratory luncheon at the Ecotrust Building in Portland. The event was keynoted by Peter Buckley, Oregon State Representative for Ashland, Talent, Pheonix, Jacksonville, Oregon.
After being postponed twice in three years, the Korea Organic Regulations are scheduled to become mandatory on January 1, 2014 and will require all imports to be directly certified to the Korea Standards. This will effectively shut out all imports of NOP organic product. Products that have cleared customs in Korea before December 31, 2013 will be allowed to remain in the stream of commerce and be sold as organic in Korea after the January 1st date.
The Organic Center has a good interview w/ David Granatstein from WSU (an Oregon Tilth Board member) in its featured scientist section of their newly updated website. It provides a good overview of David's experience and dedication to organic agriculture.