Organic Certification Dropout Newsletter
ORGANIC CERTIFICATION DROPOUT
More and more farmers are using natural-organic programs but not electing to go the total organic route.
It surprises people sometimes when we say that we are not big proponents of the government run certified organic programs. Here’s an interesting report related to the subject.
The Organic Trade Association announced that organic food sales were up 6.4% from 2016 to 2017.
But what about Midwest farmers? According to a study out of Purdue University, they’re more likely than growers in other regions to give up their USDA organic certification. Of the 234 Midwest farmers surveyed that had been organic at one time, 36% had dropped their certification. Small farms were more likely to decertify. But 72% of those who decertified continued to use organic practices.
Why drop the organic label? The study cited the hassle of getting (and staying) certified, and access to organic markets and consumers (the top five states in organic sales in 2016 were California, Pennsylvania, Washington, Oregon and Texas). Small growers are often further from urban markets and organic “hot spots.” According to a Purdue press release, those farmers that decertified “seem to be committed to organic agriculture and might be able to obtain premium prices for continuing to use organic practices without the need for an official certification.” Meanwhile, larger operations are often supplying supermarkets and other customers that require certification.
Source: GreenTalks, Ball Horticultural Company, 6/14/18
The certified programs tend to be a lot of red tape, can be very inconsistent, accept some products and procedures that we don’t agree with and also don’t accept some things we think are perfectly appropriate.
What’s the very best natural-organic program hasn't been proven, but they all work better than the synthetic chemical approach.
Drop in on the HHG EXPO Sept. the 15th in Plano and learn more about why the Texas Organic Research Center recommends a natural-organic program instead of a government certified organic program.
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