Organic Produce Association Submits Recommendations for Upcoming Farm Bill

March 30, 2023

March 30, 2023 — Today, the Organic Produce Association was pleased to submit their recommendations for the upcoming Farm Bill reauthorization to the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture.  Developed over the course of several months, these recommendations focus on issues impacting all organic produce growers.

”Demand for organic produce is at an all-time high and continues to grow,” said Theojary Crisantes, the Chairman of the Organic Produce Association.  “Our members are committed to providing the highest-quality organic produce for American consumers at prices families can afford.  This requires Congress and USDA to enact policies and programs that support all organic growers, whether they are growing their products in a field, a greenhouse, or by another approved method.  We believe these recommendations are important and support the good work USDA is currently doing while providing sensible ways to improve the National Organic Program.  We look forward to working with Congress on these recommendations as the Farm Bill moves forward this year.”

As the only association solely representing the organic fruit and vegetable industry, OPA’s recommendations include:

  • Ensuring that the USDA National Organic Standards Board is preserved as a traditional federal advisory committee and that USDA will maintain discretion to review and administer NOSB recommendations in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture.
  • Expanding the number of seats on the National Organic Standards Board to reflect the growth of the organic industry in the last decade, which has been led by increases in fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Setting aside at least one seat on the NOSB for an individual with experience in controlled environment agriculture.
  • Supporting increased funding of the National Organic Program, the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, Organic Production and Market Data Initiatives, and the Organic Certification Cost Share Programs.
  • As new commodity marketing labels, such as “climate smart” or “regenerative” are developed, USDA should consider the inherent benefits on products already certified as USDA organic and consider allowing an organic certification to quality for automatic conclusion in new labels.
  • Organic growers should be given the option to test out of the current three year transition waiting period if they are able to provide adequate certification to USDA that no substances currently prohibited by USDA are present.

The Organic Produce Association (OPA) consists of members in the organic produce industry who focus on science-based policymaking and the ability to be innovative while respecting the tradition of organics and the integrity of the USDA Organic Seal.  OPA’s full recommendations can be found here: OPA Final Farm Bill Recommendations