Federal Mandated Checkoff
No more procrastinating –
we need your comment now
Stop the organic check off program (a Tax) by commenting on the Proposed Rule before April 19th
The OTA’s proposed organic checkoff now translated into a Proposed Rule by USDA is impractical, invasive, bureaucratic, inequitable, undemocratic and ineffective. Comment now to stop the process and the historic division of the organic community. OTA must withdraw their divisive proposal now so we can all work together to protect and grow organic in these tough political times.
The following bulleted points highlight the problems with this rule and can be used in your comments:
- Tell USDA you will vote against the checkoff if there is a referendum.
- One vote per certificate holder - Producers will have to pay a poll tax to qualify to vote – assess all certificate holders to give everyone a vote.
- You have no confidence in the management, transparency and effectiveness of checkoff programs - putting the word “Organic” in the title of the program does not change the historic and well documented restrictive guidelines, heavy bureaucracy, and lack of accountability and cost of administration of these programs.
- I think organic is the gold standard and want to say that – the checkoff will not be allowed to say it for me.
- The method of assessment does not reflect the economics of organic family farms – the definition of organic inputs do not reflect organic production methods, which are based on feeding the soil and building the nutrient value of the soil to increase yield and profitability, not buying inputs.
- The payment of assessment will not be equal and fair across the organic supply chain - Walmart will not pay any assessments – their co-packers will have to, which will drive down the price paid to producers as retailers have more leverage over price in the market.
- USDA use of the term ‘de minimis quantity of the commodity’ to exclude 76% of organically certified producers and 12% of the dollar value of organic production is unacceptable.
- I support the continuation of the exemption for organic producers and handlers that are part of a conventional checkoff – establishing an organic checkoff will end that exemption – I trust organic certificate holders to invest their own money in programs to promote agricultural research and a fair pay price for producers and handlers that will increase acreage under organic production.
SUBMIT COMMENTS TO USDA TODAY TO STOP THE CHECKOFF - THE DEADLINE IS APRIL 19
Submit Online: http://bit.ly/organicTAX (link to Federal comment site)
Promotion & Economics Div., Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Rm 1406-S, Stop 0244, Washington, D.C. 20250-0244
Fax comments: (202) 205-2800
For analysis on the organic checkoff, please go to:
For ideas on raising money for organic research, please go to:
Alternatives to a Check-off for generating research dollars 2017.pdf
Liana Hoodes blog on the organic checkoff:
Liana Hoodes checkoff Blog.pdf
For more on the organic checkoff:
Posted: to Policy on Tue, Apr 11, 2017
Updated: Tue, Apr 11, 2017