The Organic Farmers Association is happy the U.S. Department of Agriculture has terminated its plan to establish a mandatory national research and promotion program for organics.
Jennifer Taylor, Vice President of the OFA, says, “Organic farmers already fulfill a heavy load of paperwork for their annual organic certification. Additional federally-mandated paperwork would have been overly burdensome, especially for the 75 percent of certified organic farmers who would have been exempt from the checkoff.”
The proposed program was causing divisions among the organic community. Checkoff programs must have the support of an entire industry to be implemented, which this didn’t have. The proposed Organic Research and Promotion Program would have required all certified organic operations, even those exempted from the checkoff, to submit annual gross sales reports. All entities whose gross sales exceeded $250,000 a year would have been legally required to pay .0001 percent of their annual organic sales.