By Jim Riddle
If an organic check-off is implemented, I am concerned that organic agriculture could be forever relegated to a niche market status, when the larger goal is to change all of agriculture to be ecologically sustainable. Organic should be integrated into all agricultural programs, including research and promotion, rather than being pushed off to the side with its own pot of money.
Along those lines, the organic community’s focus could shift from getting our fair share of all agricultural funding to the promotion of specific organic products. (With all of the energy recently put into organic check-off discussions, I am concerned that this may already be happening, since funding for all organic programs from the 2008 Farm Bill was lost in the 9 month Farm Bill extension.)
I am also concerned with the proposal that organic be categorized as a commodity in order to establish a check-off program. Organic is a production system, and certification validates that the production and handling systems comply with Federal regulations, following a process-based verification of the system. Read Full Article »