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2005 Organic Appropriations - An Overview - Organic Trade Association
Organic Trade Association
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2005 Organic Appropriations - An Overview

 
In 1990, Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA).  The OFPA required the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop national standards for organically produced agricultural products to assure consumers that agricultural products marketed as Organic meet consistent, uniform standards.  The OFPA and the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations require that agricultural products labeled as “organic” originate from farms or handling operations certified by a state or private entity that has been accredited by USDA.

Organic product sales in the U.S. in 2004 were estimated at $12.7 billion, including foods, beverages, and non-food products such as clothing and personal care products made with organic farm products such as cotton and aloe. Some studies deem organic agriculture “the fastest growing sector” in the U.S. agriculture economy.

 USDA’s total outlays for fiscal year 2006 are estimated to be about $94.6 billion, or about $300 million below the 2005 level. 

 

The Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) overriding current concern is that organic agriculture, with annual retail sales that have grown over 20 percent per year for more than the last ten years, be treated fairly.  OTA believes that organic agriculture can be treated fairly and sufficiently in the appropriations process through a combination of set-asides proportionate to the industry’s activity, including annual sales, and through full funding for the Conservation Security Program as originally proposed.

 

Ultimately, organic agriculture should be funded according to its potential, or at the least according to its current level of economic activity.  Encouraging the use of organic agriculture could help mitigate significant costs borne by society. Organic agriculture sequesters carbon, is energy efficient, and produces comparable yields without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers that can threaten public health.
Current information

 

Organic Item in

FY06 Appropriations Process

Final
FY05

Bush
FY06 Request

House Appropriations Committee
FY06

1. Organic Transition

1.9M

0.0

1.9M

2. Organic Research

No limitation

No limitation

No limitation

3. Organic Standards

2.0M

--

2.026M

4. Organic Data

0.5M

--

0.5M

 

1. Organic Transition Program
According to the Organic Transition Program website, the program is an integrated research, education, and extension grants program that helps farmers surmount the challenges of organic production and marketing. As the organic industry continues to grow at 20 percent per year, extension and other information providers report more farmers seeking reliable information on making the transition to organic production.
For more information:
http://attra.ncat.org/guide/n_z/organic_transition.html

 

2. Organic Research and Extension Initiative
Under the 2002 Farm Bill, the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative authorizes a total of $15 million, or $3 million per year, in mandatory appropriations for fiscal years 2004-08. Funds will be used to administer competitive research grants through USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. The research is to meet the production, marketing, and policy needs of the growing organic industry.
For more information:
http://attra.ncat.org/guide/n_z/organic_research.html

 

3. Organic Standards

The organic standards line includes the National Organic Program (NOP), housed in USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service’s Transportation Division. National Organic Program oversees several thousand certified farmers and manufacturers, plus certifying agents, enforcement operations, and international equivalency negotiations. 

For more information: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/indexIE.htm

4.
Organic Production and Market Data Initiative
Section 7407 of the 2002 Farm Bill directs the Secretary to ensure that segregated data on the production and marketing of organic agricultural products is included in the ongoing baseline of data collection regarding agricultural production and marketing.  USDA’s Economic Research Service has published a number of reports and continues to survey all sectors of the organic supply chain in their attempt to gather more information.
For more information:
http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/Organic/

 

 
 
2014 Annual Fund

Research and Promotion 2012

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