Weekly Top 5: Organic News You Need to Know
1. USDA's Q3 Organic Investigation Referrals Soar
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Wednesday reported 91 referrals of investigations in the third quarter, far exceeding the total posted in all of FY2016 and FY2015.
The agency's National Organic Program (NOP) said in its third quarter (April 1-June 30) enforcement report that it received 67 complaints and completed 196 complaint reviews and investigations, putting the total number of FY2017 complaints received at 252 and the number of complaints closed at 265.
Read the full story here.
2. National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Web Conference
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet via conference on August 14, 2017 from 1:00pm - 3:00pm Eastern to discuss hydroponics in organic food production.
The NOSB will not be voting on a recommendation during this web conference.
A transcript will be available approximately two weeks after the event.
Learn more here.
3. U.S. Imports of Mexican Organics up 72% in 2017
Mexico was the leading exporter of organic commodities to the U.S. market in the first six months of 2017, shipping in $133.8 million worth of product, a 72 percent increase over the same period last year.
Mexico's main organic export in 2017 is organic avocados, valued at $55.8 million, up 181 percent over the first six months of 2016. Organic bananas worth $20 million, a 153 percent increase over last year, was Mexico's second largest commodity, followed by organic Arabica coffee, which was worth $19.4 million, up 6 percent.
The U.S. organic products trade deficit for the first six months of 2017 was $756.3 million as organic exports, valued at $277.7 million, were dwarfed by the value of organic imports, which came in at $1.03 billion, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) trade statistics released Friday.
The value of organic imports during Jan.-June was up 22 percent compared to the same period in 2016, the trade data showed, while the value of organic exports during the first six months was up 26 percent.
Read more here.
4. NFU President Roger Johnson: “Organic Family Farmers Deserve Strong Standards and Enforcement”
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson highlighted the importance of strong U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) enforcement of the NOSB standards in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
Read more here.
5. CCOF Boosts Prices on Products and Services
CCOF Certification Services LLC has raised prices for company's using its name and seal on non-CCOF certified, private labels.
The Santa Cruz, Calif.-based, USDA-accredited organic certification agency, representing more than 2,900 certified organic members in 42 states and three countries, said effective Wednesday, the fee for adding a new product or service will increase to $75 per item.
The fee for use of CCOF’s name and seal on a non-CCOF certified private labels will increase to $350 for up to five unique products (UPCs).
Learn more here.
“The sun, with all those planets revolving around and dependent upon it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do in the world. ”
Scot Olson, Vice President of Produce & Floral, Grocery Outlet shared how he brought organics to Grocery Outlet shoppers, consumer insights and more.Read More
In 2015, Sun Pacific Marketing Cooperative began transitioning substantial portions of its grape acreage to organic production through both new plantings and gratings. This season about 23 percent of the four million boxes of grapes the company ships will be organic.Read More
By Melody Meyer
In early July, the Senate AG Committee held a hearing on global & local markets, specialty crops, and organics as they relate to the next Farm Bill. What do these seemingly diverging messages from the Chairman of the House Ag Committee mean for organic in the next Farm Bill? For answers, you must understand some of the issues currently vexing the organic seal.Read More