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.
Organic Produce Quick Facts
In the past 12 months, organic department produce dollar sales are up 3.8% and volume sales are up 3%. Price per volume rose 0.8%
Between 2011 and 2021, certified organic cropland acres increased by 79%
In 2021, retail sales of organic fresh fruit and vegetables were estimated to be $19.2 billion, being the top category of organically grown foods
In the past 12 months, organic department produce dollar sales went up 3.8% and volume sales are up 3%. Price per volume rose 0.8%
2023-2024 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:
NOP published the SOE final rule in January 2023 to strengthen the oversight and enforcement of the production, handling, and sale of organic products. The new rule will impact many sectors of the organic fresh produce supply chain and has an enforcement date set for March 19, 2024. The guidance document provided will help answer some clarifying points to help ensure your operation is in compliance by the enforcement date.
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.
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:
- Providing regionally based farmer training, education and mentorship through the
Transition to Organic Production Program (TOPP)
- 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)
- Working with partners to identify innovative ways to building organic supply chains in targeted markets via AMS.
Organic Policy Resources:
- NOP Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) USDA Resource Page
- National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)
- NOSB Current Members
- National Organic Program
- The Organic Insider
Important Upcoming Dates
- November 29-30, 2023 | OPN Organic Grower Summit | Monterey, CA
- June 10-12, 2024 | IFPA The Washington Conference | Washington, DC
- October 17-19, 2024 | IFPA The Global Produce & Floral Show | Anaheim, CA
To learn more about Organic Policy, please contact: