Opponents of organic checkoff send letter to USDA

Opponents of an organic checkoff have submitted a letter to the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Marketing Service, urging AMS not to establish a checkoff for organics.

“The No Organic Checkoff Coalition does not think a mandatory federal organic checkoff is the correct vehicle to address the obvious need for organic marketing and research,” the group said in a news release. “The U.S. demand for organic products far outweighs domestic organic supply, and the coalition has not seen any convincing evidence that the checkoff program would support increased domestic organic production, which is one of the major concerns as organic imports are on the rise.” The letter was signed by 775 people.

The Organic Trade Association said in an email that “nearly 1,200 organic stakeholders have now indicated their public support for an Organic Checkoff — and 75 percent of those certified organic operations supporting the checkoff are farmers and ranchers. From family-owned farms to large consumer brand manufacturers, support is building for the proposed research and promotion program that has been designed to reflect the unique needs and challenges of the organic sector.”

An OTA source also noted that only certified organic operations would be the ones voting in the referendum and paying into the program.

–The Hagstrom Report