Like many of you, I am in Southern California this week to attend Natural Products Expo West, the biggest organic food trade show in the U.S. with nearly 2,800 vendors.
While euphoria surrounds the industry from a business perspective and consumer demand for organic continues to explode, the noise coming out of Washington, D.C. seems to be at complete odds with what is happening in the marketplace.
And this should be greatly concerning to all of us.
Several weeks ago, my note to you was about the “Dark Forces” in Washington, D.C. who were out “to get organic.”
Within the past few days, we received more clarity on this.
Politico reported that some conservative thinkers want to completely change the composition of the National Organic Standards Board (saying it was not representative of today’s organic) while others want to eliminate the National Organic Program altogether from the 2018 farm bill.
It went on to say that The Freedom Caucus, a congressional caucus consisting of conservative Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives, did not want to kill the entire organic program but just the recently issued organic animal welfare standards.
However, the Center for Food Safety (CFS), one of the most respected organic consumer advocacy groups, sent out a bulletin refuting Politico.
CFS said that The Freedom Caucus, which supposedly has President Trump’s ear, released a “recommended list of regulations to remove.” One of its top ten targets to eliminate is the National Organic Program, which would mean the end of organic food labeling and regulation.
As I head to Expo West and attend numerous sessions related to organic policy, this is one topic that I will be digging into much more. Namely, I’d like to know what our side is doing to fight back. Aside from this one email from CFS, I have heard nothing. And as far as I can tell, the Organic Trade Association has not said a word about it.
To join me in my daily adventures at Expo West, please be sure to follow me on Instagram Stories (@livingmaxwell). I have many interesting lunches, dinners, meetings and interviews already scheduled.
Have a fantastic day!
Max Goldberg, Founder
Despite the fact that the organic industry is booming and Transitional Organic programs are in place, real hurdles remain in getting U.S. farmers to switch to organic.
There is no question that organic farmers need strong representation in Washington, D.C., and many of us are hoping the Organic Farmers Association can be that voice. Whether or not it can have a meaningful impact, however, remains to be seen.
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