Organic Trade Association 2018 Farm Bill Priorities

A recent update from the Organic Trade Association (OTA) included an outline of the organization’s priorities for the next Farm Bill.

Some of the items from the OTA outline included the following:

* “The next farm bill must include support and adequate funding for the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) to keep pace with industry growth, set uniform standards, and carry out compliance and enforcement actions in the U.S. and abroad.”

* “While all domestic and imported organic products must meet USDA’s strict standards, a greater emphasis on authority and capacity to conduct investigations will keep organic markets strong.”

* “U.S. organic exports are up 60%, creating jobs in the U.S. and driving demand overseas. Expansion of the Market Access Program (MAP) will create new opportunities for U.S. farmers, especially when targeted to emerging growth sectors.”

* “Accessing the opportunities provided in organic farming requires equal and comparable access to USDA programs that provide invaluable support to U.S. agriculture. Organic focused research, risk management tools, data collection and direct dialog between industry and USDA are critical to organic farmers’ success.”

* “Organic farmers need USDA to continue making improvements in the farm safety net in order to achieve appropriate risk management tools for organic farms. Congress should direct the Risk Management Agency (RMA) to prioritize development of additional organic price elections for crop insurance coverage, and review policies that cap Contract Price Addendums at two-times the conventional price election for any specific crop.”

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