Consider Segregating Organic Data in Livestock Survey:
Comments of the Organic Trade Association on
Notice and Request for Comments,
Federal Register, Vol. 70, No. 86, Thursday, May 5, 2005
Associate Policy Director
June 6, 2005
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) thanks USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) for the opportunity to comment on this currently approved information collection, the Livestock Slaughter Survey. OTA, with 1600 members, is the sole membership association representing all sectors of the organic trade in the U.S.
OTA’s comments here are intended to suggest ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.
In 1999, OTA worked with USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to allow the labeling of meat as organic when it had been certified. Since then, OTA believes that the organic meat business has grown substantially, though OTA relies on USDA to provide specific figures on certified organic operations. This information collection could be instrumental in providing data complementary to Agricultural Census figures that would allow the first analysis of organic meat production in the U.S.
In order to provide this innovative service and a benchmark for future data collections, OTA requests that NASS provide livestock slaughter operations with the means to report their organic business, including head slaughtered and revenue from those head. OTA also requests that NASS identify any operations surveyed that are dedicated to organic production.
OTA understands that there are very few slaughter operations dedicated to organic livestock. At the same time, OTA has been asked by the State of Illinois to provide background on the need for such dedicated operations. While there is a good deal of anecdotal evidence that such facilities are needed, segregated data from this information collection would help quantify the potential demand.
Thank you very much for your consideration.