Mar 29, 2023
OPA requests additional support from Congress for programs affecting organic producers
The Organic Produce Association has sent a letter to Congressional leaders requesting increased support for U.S. Department of Agriculture programs affecting organic producers.
The letter was sent to the leaders of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, who author USDA’s annual spending legislation, on March 23. It noted the Organic Produce Network’s State of Organics 2022 report, which found that organic fresh produce sales grew by 3% in 2022 to more than $9.4 billion.
The letter requested funding for the following federal initiatives:
- National Organic Program: Develops and enforces consistent national standards for USDA certified organic products.
- Organic Transitions Research Program: Supports the development and implementation of research, extension, and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices.
- Organic Certification Cost-Share Program: Provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program.
- Organic Production and Market Data Initiative: USDA provides domestic and international price reporting, economic analyses, census data, and other information on organic production and marketing.
- Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program: USDA’s premier research program for sustainable agriculture research.
OPA also praised legislators for the USDA Organic Transition Initiative, announced last August.
“OPA is pleased that Congress made investments in many of these programs last year, and are hopeful to see that trend continue,” said Theo Crisantes, OPA chair. “USDA’s work is critical to our growing and changing industry, and we’re hopeful Congress will continue to see the value in these programs necessary to ensure that affordable, healthy, sustainable organic produce is available to all consumers who want it.”
Read the full letter here (pdf).