Dear President: Here’s How to Support Organic

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Written by Rebekah WeberonMonday, June 21, 2021onpolicy, research
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Hot off the press: The Critical To-Do List for Organic Agriculture, published by the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems. This list of 46 recommendations spells out how the president can support organic and complements the recommendations for the state of California in CCOF’s Roadmap to an Organic California.  

The president’s to-do list includes thoughtful tasks to improve the governance of organic and bolster organic in health, economic, and climate policies and programs. While the full report is worth reading, I have pulled out a few highlights: 

Governance 

  • Facilitate tribal nation participation: As many organic practices originated in indigenous communities, USDA should partner with tribal nations to explore pathways to certification. 

Health 

  • Procure organic food: With billions of dollars flowing through USDA nutrition programs, organic procurement would invest in organic producers and provide families with healthy organic options. 

Economics 

  • Restore certification cost-share funding: Since cost-sharing can help small farms stay certified, USDA should restore the level of support to $750 and study certification costs to determine the appropriate level of assistance moving forward. 

Climate 

  • Manage federal lands organically: The Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service should manage the 640 million acres of federally owned land in ways that are consistent with the National Organic Program to support ranchers to transition to organic.  

Organic continues to grow, with sales surpassing $61 billion in 2020.1 We are excited to build on this momentum and to work with producers, partners, and the president toward a world where organic is the norm.