With a growing organic sector in the fresh produce industry and increasing participation throughout the supply chain, IFPA aims to be at the forefront of organic policy issues that our members face. Recently, there have been policies and regulations that affect our industry, thus IFPA has created the Organics Committee as a resource for our industry.
With representation across the fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain, the Organics Committee brings a valuable perspective and level of expertise. The IFPA Government Relations team, with input from the Organics Committee, regularly meets and communicates with the Administration, Members of Congress and other stakeholders with regards to organic policy.
2022 Action Plan
- IFPA will work the Biden Administration and Congress to develop sensible polices within current and future organics regulation. This includes engagement with the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and all new regulatory requirements or policy decisions.
Some of the policies that the produce industry is most affected by include:
- 9th Circuit Rules in Favor of USDA/Hydroponics in Lawsuit from Center for Food Safety
The Ninth Circuit has just AFFIRMED the decision of the lower court, finding no error in USDA’s denial of CFS’s petition asking USDA to revoke organic certification for hydroponic growers that otherwise qualify under the NOP, or otherwise find that the OFPA prevents hydroponic growers from qualifying for organic certification. IFPA is signed on as a friend of the court, defending the rights of hydroponic farmers to continue certifying their products as organic.
- USDA Announces Details of $300 Million Organic Transition Initiative
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Aug. 22 announced details of the Organic Transition Initiative, a $300 million program with funds that come from the American Rescue Plan. The Organic Transition Initiative funds focus on three areas: 1) providing regionally based farmer training, education and mentorship through the Transition to Organic Production Program (TOPP), 2) providing financial assistance both to farmers choosing to implement a new Organic Management conservation practice standard administered by NRCS as well to transitioning farmers via RMA's Transitional Organic Grower Assistance Program (TOGA) and 3) working with partners to identify innovative ways to building organic supply chains in targeted markets via AMS.
- NOP Enforcement Proposed Rule
NOP has sent their proposed rule to the Office of Management & Budget (OMB), where it is currently in review. A final rule is expected to be announced later in 2022, with full implementation a year later in 2023.
Organic Policy Resources:
- National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)
- NOSB Current Members
- National Organic Program
- The Organic Insider
IFPA Organics Activities
- Response to National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Proposed Restrictions to Ammonia Products and Highly Soluble Nitrogen Fertilizers
- IFPA submitted a letter to the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) in response to NOSB's proposed restrictions to certain non-synthetic liquid ammonia products and highly soluble nitrogen fertilizers. NOP is in the process of creating regulations based on these recommendations, which could be damaging to the organic produce industry who rely on these products as part of their set of tools to grow a consistent supply of organic fruits and vegetables. This type of outright prohibition has the potential to stifle the innovation needed from suppliers of organic inputs that will ensure the innovation to continue growth in this sector.
- National Organic Program Priorities Listening Session Written Comments
- IFPA submitted written comments to the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) as part of their Priorities Listening Session. This was an open call to the industry for comments on how to prioritize a backlog of proposals submitted to the NOP, primarily from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), as well as comments on the general structure of the NOP. IFPA took this opportunity to weigh in on behalf of members and the produce industry to emphasize the need to evaluate proposals for rule making with an objective, science-based approach, and to take into consideration the varying production methods and regions that are required to deliver consumers a full variety of organic produce.
- National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Meeting Written Comments
- IFPA submitted written comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) as a part of their upcoming spring meeting and as part of their sunset review process for the allowed and prohibited substances on the national list. The NOSB is a federal advisory committee that consists of 15 members of the organic supply chain, including 4 growers. IFPA took this opportunity to voice to the NOSB the concerns of the fresh produce industry, including the need for a diverse set of tools to address pest management and other production concerns.
Important Upcoming Dates
- September 26-28, 2022 | IFPA The Washington Conference | Washington, DC
- October 27-29, 2022 | IFPA The Global Produce & Floral Show | Orlando, FL
- November 30-December 1, 2022 | OPN Organic Grower Summit | Monterey, CA
To learn more about Organic Policy, please contact: