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New FLAG Publication, Farmers' Guide to Organic Contracts, Now Available

Farmers' Legal Action Group (FLAG) is pleased to announce the release of a comprehensive and much-anticipated publication, the Farmers' Guide to Organic Contracts, written to help farmers make informed decisions at every stage of the contract relationship

ST. PAUL, MINN. - Farmers' Legal Action Group (FLAG) is pleased to announce the release of a comprehensive and much-anticipated publication, the Farmers' Guide to Organic Contracts, written to help farmers make informed decisions at every stage of the contract relationship (available for free download at www.flaginc.org).

The organic sector uses written contracts at a much higher rate than the conventional agricultural sector. However, until now, organic farmers had little independent, reliable legal information available to them when presented with - or when proposing - a marketing contract for organic crops, dairy, livestock, or other organic farm products.

"One major goal of the Farmers' Guide to Organic Contracts is to encourage an organic marketing system in which organic producers and organic buyers can thrive together," said FLAG Staff Attorney Amanda N. Heyman, the guide's author.

This new resource for the organic community can help organic farmers evaluate, negotiate, and manage contract agreements with buyers of organic farm products. This farmer-friendly legal guide includes:
An overview of contract laws important to farmers;
A Quick Organic Contract Checklist and practical toolkit farmers can use to review and negotiate contract offers;
Highlighted sections illustrating how federal organic regulations interact with organic contracts;
Examples and discussion of over 100 types of organic contract provisions; and
Detailed information about solving the types of contract disputes that commonly arise in the organic market.
In developing this guide, FLAG interviewed organic farmers about their experiences with written contracts, reviewed written organic contracts, consulted with leaders in the organic farming community, and conducted extensive research into the laws and policies governing organic farm production and marketing.

The Farmers' Guide to Organic Contracts can assist farmers with all types of agricultural contracts, but the guide's primary purpose is to serve farm operations certified as organic under U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) regulations. Specific suggestions and information for certified organic operations are highlighted throughout the guide, which features a color-coded symbol system designed to enhance reader understanding.

Farmers can use the guide as a helpful reference tool to answer questions related to organic contracts. The guide's main Table of Contents, Quick Organic Contract Checklist, and individual chapter tables of contents allow readers to easily find topics of interest. Furthermore, each chapter's table of contents highlights some of the useful contract-related tips found throughout the guide.

The Farmers' Guide to Organic Contracts is accessible on FLAG's website (www.flaginc.org) and can be downloaded free of charge. Hard copies can be ordered at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/flagpublications.

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