Organic Report Fall 2021 - Flipbook - Page 18
Future of Organic Workshop Series
t has been 30 years since the passage of the Organic Foods Production Act and now is the time to take a step back and assess
what has and has not worked in the program, and think creatively for solutions to meet the needs of the sector for the next 30
years. It is critical as Congress begins the next farm bill to work together to set a new framework that meets the unique needs of
an industry that is built on strong federal, voluntary standards.
The Organic Trade Association and the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University led by Dr.
Kathleen Merrigan are embarking on a partnership to bring together a diverse coalition of stakeholders to look at the changing
needs of organic, explore ways to improve organic and discuss how to build upon organic’s successes. They will host a dynamic
series of workshops over the fall and winter with a no-holds-barred look at organic. The outcomes of the workshop will
culminate in the release of a report outlining tangible improvements to the law and regulatory process within USDA, and will
help shape strategies on how to update the Organic Foods Production Act in the next farm bill. Participants are encouraged to
bring their radical, innovative ideas to the table.
Workshop Series Topics
Structure of the Public-Private Partnership: We will examine the current federal regulatory process and its impact on
the voluntary, organic program. What is the role and future of the National Organic Standards Board? How do we restructure
and realign the public-private partnership to keep pace with increasing consumer and environmental demands? How do we
establish a regulatory framework that provides accountability and transparency between the government and stakeholders?
Continuous Improvement: The original aims of the Organic Foods Production Act have not been fully realized. The organic
standards do not include labor, social and emerging environmental challenges. This breakout will explore continuous
improvement in organic standards and how it should be defined in the law and regulations, and chart a path forward to move
organic into the future to ensure the most sustainable, transparent and socially conscious food system.
Accreditation, Certification, Accountability, and Enforcement: This breakout will explore the responsibilities
including the mutual and distinct roles government, industry and the certification community have in ensuring robust
application of the standards. We will explore how to improve the organic system plan, innovative approaches to certification
and strengthening the accreditation system.
Bonus Breakout: Each workshop will include an additional topic to explore based on the audience. Topics will include
the future of marketing claims and their relationship to organic, the 2023 farm bill, establishing a federal organic transition
program and more.
Save The Dates
October 6 — Virtual workshop, open to all.
October 27 — Virtual workshop co-hosted by the Accredited Certifiers Association, for ACA certifier members.
December 13 — Virtual workshop co-hosted by the Organic Farmers Association and Organic Trade Association
Farmers Advisory Council, for farmers and farmers organizations.
December 15 — In-person workshop in Washington, D.C., open to all.
Space is limited. If you are interested in participating in a Future of Organic workshop,
contact Libby Mucciarone (email@example.com) for more information.
Organic Report • Fall 2021