Organic Farmers Cheer End to USDA Checkoff
Following news that the USDA was terminating the rulemaking process to establish a national organic research and promotion program, the Organic Farmers Association (OFA) says the government agency made the right decision.
“Organic farmers already fulfill a heavy load of annual paperwork for their organic certification. Additional federally mandated paperwork would have been overly burdensome—especially for the 75% of certified organic farmers estimated to be exempt from the checkoff,” Jennifer Taylor, Vice President of Organic Farmers Association, and certified organic farmer in Central Georgia, said.
The OFA says the program was troublesome in that all certified organic operations would be required to submit annual gross sales reports and those operations with organic gross sales of more than $250,000 would have been mandated to pay 0.001% of net organic sales.
The OFA statement says the organization agrees with Organic Trade Association in that organic research and promotion is a necessary part of the future of organic production.
“We hope that together we can unite organic stakeholders to identify creative solutions to support organic agricultural research and grow organic markets,” the statement says.