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OPN Connect Newsletter 7 · April 13, 2017

Organic Week in Brief


Jana Partners Acquires 9 Percent of Whole Foods

The 11 percent growth in demand for organic has made retailers like Whole Foods attractive to potential takeovers.  Described as an activist investor, Jana Partners, now has an 8.8 percent piece of Whole Foods and is pushing for a possible sale and realignment of its Board of Directors.  Whether Whole Foods will sell and to whom remains rife for the rumor mill.  Click for more from Fortune Magazine.

Nature Safe

Comment Deadline to USDA on GRO Organic Proposed Assessment Ends Next Week

All stakeholders in the organic produce community need to make their voice heard on the proposed GRO Organic assessment by April 19 or others could decide the future for research dollars and more.  To date, more than 3,550 individuals have sent comments to USDA on whether an assessment on all organic products should be mandated in a new research, promotion and information order.    To read the proposed assessment details, click here.  Whether you support this effort or not, please click here to tell USDA your opinion.

Help for Handlers from USDA National Organic Program (NOP) Video

As organic demand continues its growth trajectory, many growers, processors and handlers now work across multiple supply chains and international borders.   Because handlers have a key role in protecting the integrity of organic products from farm to market, the NOP published a short video about their responsibilities in verifying organic imports meet U.S. standards.  The video also reviews the role of certifiers.  In May, USDA will also be hosting webinars on the subject in greater depth.  Click to access the video.

Organic Ag Products

America’s First Certified Organic Drive Through

The next time you visit Chicago, look for Nic’s Organic Fast Food, in nearby Rolling Meadows.  Everything on the menu uses certified organic ingredients.   Choices range from chicken to burgers, from breakfast to grab and go lunches.  Check out the Tractor Soda – all certified organic ingredients from lemongrass and root beer to blood orange and coconut with no artificial sweeteners.  For more, click Nic’s.

 

Ocean Mist

More than 50 Bipartisan Members of Congress Sign Letter to Support Organic Ag Funding

A letter encouraging the U.S. Agricultural Appropriations Committee to continue to support funding for organic programs was circulated by Congressmen Peter DeFazio (OR-D) and Ron Kind (WI-D) on behalf of the Congressional Organic Caucus.  The National Organic Program and Organic Transition Research Programs are among those the Caucus asks Congress to support.  Take a moment to thank your representatives for their critical support for organic produce.  To view the letter, click here.

 

"The future can’t happen fast enough.  Organic produce has an untapped potential and we have no idea just how big this is.”    

Howard Nager, Sun Pacific

 

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