Targeted regulatory, legislative, and marketing news and information for the organic business community.

Gearing up for the spring NOSB meeting

The next NOSB meeting will take place April 19-21 in Denver, Colorado. The comment period is now open, with meeting proposals expected to be available next week. Organic stakeholders have until March 30 to submit written comments or sign up to give public comment at the meeting or during an April 13 webinar. During the in-person […]

More time to weigh-in on calculating organic percentages

In response to a request by the Organic Trade Association, USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) is extending the comment deadline by 60 days on its Draft Guidance on Calculating the Percentage of Organic Ingredients in Multi-Ingredient Products. The new deadline is April 7. The draft guidance clarifies the standards for calculating organic percentages for finished products, including products that […]

Comment deadline extended on Sunset amendments

USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) has extended the comment period for the 2017 Sunset Review Amendments to the National List proposed rule by 30 days to April 19. Consistent with the NOSB recommendations made to NOP in 2015, the proposed Sunset rule would remove 11 non-organic inputs from the National List for allowed use in organic production […]

Claim your spot for Organic Week in D.C.

Registration is open for the Organic Trade Association’s Organic Week in Washington, D.C., May 22-25. The agenda will include The Organic Center’s Confluences Summit May 22-23, OTA Member Working Sessions May 23, OTA’s Policy Conference at the Newseum May 24, and OTA Advocacy Day May 25. During this week, OTA and its members will advocate […]

Everything you need to submit a check-off comment

The March 20 comment deadline is quickly approaching for the proposed GRO Organic Check-off proposal. The complete text of the proposal is available for review on the Federal Register, or you can find a summary of the program and an excerpt of the proposed regulation here. OTA staff is ready to work with you to write a detailed comment […]

In case you missed it

Civil Eats published a well-balanced article on the proposed organic check-off when USDA first published it in the Federal Register last month. The piece by Sarah Shembus outlines background information leading up to the proposal, and how the program has been designed to address critical challenges for organic. It also summarizes how the organic check-off […]

WSJ article looks at rising organic feed grain imports

The Wall Street Journal article “U.S. Appetite for Organic Food Prompts Jump in Grain Imports; Farmers Cry Foul” published on Feb 21 looked at the issue of rising organic feed grain imports. Quoted in the article, OTA’s Farm Policy Director Nate Lewis noted the Organic Trade Association has confidence in USDA’s organic regulatory system. The […]

Organic on the agenda at USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is holding its annual Agricultural Outlook Forum this Thursday and Friday (February 23-24) in Arlington, VA. The theme is “A New Horizon: The Future of Agriculture.” At the forum, the Organic Trade Association’s CEO Laura Batcha and Farm Policy Director Nate Lewis will be among the speakers. Batcha will […]

OTA seeking additional international trade codes for organic

Since 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued special harmonized codes (HS Codes) to track imports and exports of a number of organic products. The Organic Trade Association is currently working on another application to request additional HS codes for organic products, and is seeking input on which products to add to the […]

NPR team will live tape episode at dinner on organic science

The latest science on the environmental and health benefits of organic food and farming will literally take center stage on March 9 at The Organic Center’s 14th Annual Benefit Dinner in conjunction with Natural Products Expo West. With the theme of “Science Says So,” the event—the single biggest fundraising event for The Organic Center and […]