OPN Connect Newsletter 22 · July 27, 2017

Weekly Top 5: Organic News You Need to Know 

1. UCSC’s Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems – 50 years Outstanding in Their Field

Dating back to 1967 when master gardener Alan Chadwick transformed the rolling chaparral into a prolific organic garden, the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) has evolved into a multifaceted research, education, and public service endeavor.  The work at their 33 acre organic farm continues to make an impact on organic producers locally and across the globe.


Come celebrate their 50 years of work at the "First 50 Celebration & Symposium" at UC Santa Cruz, July 28–30th 2017. There will be a compelling line-up of speakers, workshops & tours, with good music, local food and time for mingling with old-timers (like me) and many newcomers to the sustainable agriculture community. 

Read more here. 

2. U.S. Senate Bill Boosts Funding for USDA's National Organic Program

Nature Safe

The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations has approved legislation that boosts funding for the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) by $3 million to $12.1 million.

The FY2018 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill passed unanimously Thursday providing $145.4 billion in discretionary and mandatory funding, nearly $5 billion more than President Trump's budget request.

The Senate Appropriations Committee's bill also increases funding for the Organic Transition Program (OTP) to $5 million. Trump's budget request had zeroed out the $4 million in funding for the Organic Transition Program (OTP), a research grant program that helps farmers overcome some of the challenges of organic production and marketing.

Organic Ag Products

Read more here. 

3. SunSelect Produce, Inc Goes 100% Fair Trade Certified

SunSelect Produce, Inc. said with the certification of its Tehachapi, Calif., greenhouse operation, all its produce is now Fair Trade Certifie

Ocean Mist

The Aldergrove, British Columbia-based company produces tomatoes and bell peppers in California, and markets all its produce under the Outrageously Fresh brand. Edith Gubiotti, SunSelect’s vice president of human resources and administration, said the difference the certification is making in the lives of its labor force is what matters most.

Learn more here.  

4. Tanimura & Antle Brings on Organic Expert John McKeon

With a focus on assuring organic integrity in their growing organic program, Tanimura & Antle has hired John McKeon as Senior Manager of Organic Compliance & Sustainability. In this new role, McKeon will direct all compliance activities for the company’s organic program, quality assurance for the company’s organic, commission and consolidation supply chain, R&D for organic materials and new business platforms, customer compliance management, FSMA compliance management for organic items, and standards development for sustainability and social accountability programs.

Learn more here. 

5. Survey Shows Little Consumer Enthusiasm for Amazon-Whole Foods Online Grocery and Meal Services

Ecommerce giant proposed $13.7 billion acquisition of the world's largest organic and natural grocery chain, Whole Foods Market, has generated little enthusiasm among consumers to sign up for an online grocery or meal delivery service through the potentially merged retailer.

That's according to a new report by Germany-based market research firm GfK SE's New York City office, which conducted a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults to gauge their reaction to news of the acquisition.

Learn more here. 


“At Giorgio, we are seeing significant demand for organic mushrooms. Our commitment to the organic category is tied to the growth in organics overall and with the customer base wanting more varieties.”
- Doug Stewart, Giorgio Fresh Mushrooms

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