cows in field

Busy Time for Organic Trade Association (OTA)

From OTA’s website: “At the September 17 meeting, the OTA Board voted to move forward to prepare and submit an application to USDA to initiate an industry referendum on an organic research and promotion order.” The OTA seems to assume that the USDA AMS will approve their as-yet-unpublished proposal for a mandatory federal check-off program as having enough support from the organic community to hold a referendum of those that will be assessed. We do not yet know who will be assessed, what the rate will be, how it will be collected, and many other aspects of the proposal which has gone through a few iterations by a select group of folks appointed by OTA to an internal OTA committee.

OTA should have held a referendum of all organic certificate holders as to whether they want an organic check-off before they proceed to send a proposal to USDA. With all the many pieces of fancy literature and personal phone calls they have financed to promote their ideas, OTA could have used some of those funds to pay an independent entity to perform a referendum on a simple yes/no on whether we need a federal mandated organic check-off /tax. Those organizations that are holding their own referendum of their producer members have had a resounding no to setting up an organic check-off.