USDA Announces Accreditation Program for Transitional Agricultural Products- Step to Boost Organic Food Production

Reuters writer¬†Tom Polansek reported yesterday that, “The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday took a step toward increasing the production of organic foods – which has not kept pace with demand – by launching a program to certify farmland that growers are in the process of switching to organic.

“Obtaining certification under the program will allow farmers to sell products raised in accordance with organic guidelines for higher prices than conventionally-grown goods, according to the Organic Trade Association, an industry group. That should help growers cover the extra costs associated with transitioning to organic farming, the group said.

“Demand for organic foods has been strong as consumers are increasingly seeking products considered to be more natural and healthy. In 2015, total organic product sales hit a new high of $43.3 billion, up 11 percent from the previous year’s record level, according to the Organic Trade Association.”

Mr. Polansek indicated that, “Those who are switching farmland to organic production must follow the same regulations as those who have already been fully certified, the trade group said. So far, however, farmers have not been able to designate their crops as being in transition in an attempt to sell the products for higher prices.

Producers of grains, such as wheat, will benefit most from the new certification program because that is the sector in which demand is most outstripping supply, said Nate Lewis, farm policy director for the trade association. Farmers are also grappling with weak prices for conventional grains because of a global supply glut.

“Organic grains have seen heavy demand to feed organically-raised livestock and to make organic breads and cereals for humans.”

This entry was posted in Agriculture Law. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.