NOP releases economic impact of poultry living conditions


The National Organic Program (NOP) has released a report on the findings of a regulatory impact analysis conducted on proposed changes to living standards for organic poultry. The report was prepared in response to a series of National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommendations related to animal welfare specifying indoor and outdoor spacing requirements for organic poultry. Included were clarifications that birds must not only have access to the outdoors but also access to the soil.  The report estimates the costs and benefits of regulatory changes based on three options ranging from “no change to existing standards” to “changes consistent with NOSB’s final recommendation.” The analysis concluded that substantial changes to the regulation would  “likely cause a substantial number of producers to exit organic production and switch to conventional production.” Given the results of the report, NOP indicates it does not anticipate addressing the NOSB proposals on animal welfare in the near future. NOP is sharing the report to inform stakeholders of the project and encourage future discussions on the issue. OTA is interested in feedback from its members, and will be engaging our organic poultry producers and other interested stakeholders. For more information, contact OTA’s Regulatory Director for Organic Standards and Food Safety Gwendolyn Wyard.


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