Testimonials - Organic Trade Association
Organic Trade Association
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Testimonial sampling from those within the organic industry

“Thanks to the work of many, this organic market place has grown, based on supply and demand, and is seeking operational and financial efficiencies within the rules provided. There is little incentive to pursue these efficiencies in a serious way if all it takes is a political favor to alter the rules to fit a single producer’s current economic model.”
--Bob Turnbull, Heartland Organic Marketing Coop, Stuart, IA

“Organic was never about making it ‘easier’ or ‘faster’ or ‘simpler,’ but about sustaining consistent standards on a growing and environmental system that is known, demanded and respected by the organic consumer.”
--Harold Ostenson, Pac Organic Fruit, LLC, George, WA

“We have worked hard at our organic chicken program and have found grain available but more expensive than our regular grains. However, the price of these grains was a given when we entered into production and processing of certified organic chicken.”
--Spangler Klopp, Townsends, Inc., Georgetown, DE

“Weakening the organic standards for feed will disrupt the opportunity for crop and livestock producers to differentiate their product, and reduces the profit opportunity for both groups.”
--Kevin Caskey, MGK Co., Minneapolis, MN

“No one is being forced to be an organic producer. Organic certification is a privilege. If you want to be a certified organic producer, you play by the rules.”
--Kevin and Lisa Engelbert, Nichols, NY

“We are organic dairy farmers who bottle our milk on-farm. We have been organic for four years and have found there are plenty of organic feed grains available. There is no reason for any conventional feed exemption for organic production.”
--Barb and Kerry Buchmayer, Green Hills Harvest, Purdin, MO

“All feed on an organic farm must be certified organic if the products (meat, milk, fiber) from those animals are to be considered organic. Anything less than that will seriously hurt the quality of the organic products produced, and the integrity of the organic industry as a whole.”
--Lisa McCrory, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance, Richmond, VT, representing dairy producers throughout the Northeast (

“This amendment is totally against the principals of the Organic Food Act and the ethos of the organic food movement.”
-- Nigel Willerton, CEO, Wholesome Sweeteners, Inc., Sugarland, TX

“The wording of this paragraph undermines what our company and farmers across the country have strived to achieve in providing organic feeds to their livestock and guaranteeing the integrity of organic products to their customers.”
--William D. Robinson, President, Kreamer Feed/Nature’s Best Organic Feeds, Kreamer, PA

“I have been using certified organic methods for 12 years and those who say it cannot be done economically are simply wrong and obviously have no organic integrity, and are only looking to make a ‘quick buck’ at the long-term expense of the organic industry.” 
--John Linck, Brown City, MI

“Organic Valley supports any and all efforts to rescind this provision. We feel it is a direct attack on the integrity of the organic food system we have worked long and hard to create. We cannot allow this type of exemption to stand, as it will undermine consumers’ confidence in our ability to deliver organic products that meet the widely accepted definition of what organic is.”
--Jerry McGeorge, Cooperative Coordinator, CROPP/Organic Valley, La Farge, WI 

“We need 100% organic feed to be used in livestock production. Any less would encourage fraud and make standards for meat production weaker than they are for other commodities. It is critical that special interests cannot come in at this time and change the regulations to fit their economic interests.”
--Diane Dempster, Buyer, Charlies’ Produce, Seattle, WA

“ We must move beyond the self-interest of any one company or group and hold protection of the public trust as our highest goal. If allowed to stand, we foresee that this language dilution will ultimately be used as precedent to weaken the current requirement that organic ingredients must be used in USDA organic products when available, regardless of their cost.” 
--Joel Dee, President, Edward & Sons Trading Company Inc., Carpinteria, CA

“This is akin to a manufacturer’s argument that “Labor prices are more than twice as high in the U.S. as in China. Therefore I can manufacture in China and still put a ‘Made in the USA’ label on it.” If this were allowed, the “Made in the USA” label would come to have no meaning or value at all….Consumer confidence in the new USDA Organic label -- and the ability to export US Organic food—is wholly dependent upon the integrity of organic standards.”
--Suzi Rubin, Stonegate Farm, Inc., Middletown, OH

“As an industry we worked hard to create the new USDA organic rule. The cost of organic feed should not be a reason to water down these regulations.” 
--Albert Straus, president, Straus Family Creamery, Marshall, CA

“There is no shortage of organic grain in this country. I could provide you with a long list of organic grain brokers that could provide more than enough organic grain to fill all the organic livestock needs in this country.”
--Francis Thicke, Radiance Dairy, Fairfield, IA

2014 Annual Fund

Research and Promotion 2012