Industry group ‘resurrects’ USDA’s canceled organic food research program

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Three months after the U.S. Department of Agriculture pulled the plug on a plan to establish a national organic promotion and research program funded by grower assessments, the Organic Trade Association is resurrecting the plan.

While many of the goals remain the same, the USDA is no longer involved and the association wants to create a voluntary payment program.

“The Organic Trade Association recognizes great demand for coordinated organic research and promotion, and the organic sector is ready to work together on innovative solutions that will have key benefits for organic,” Laura Batcha, CEO and executive director for the Organic Trade Association, said in the release.

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In an e-mail to The Packer, Batcha said the voluntary program will operate outside of the oversight of the USDA. The USDA expressly forbids disparaging other commodities by the agency’s promotion boards, and Batcha said the voluntary program also will focus on the positive attributes of organic products, not negative messages about non-organic food.

Read full, original article: Organic group seeks promotion and research campaign without USDA

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