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Photo credit: Harriet Behar, MOSES Organic Specialist

National Organic Action Plan

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What is it?

The National Organic Action Plan (NOAP) project articulates a vision for the future of organic food and agriculture in the United States. It engages collaborators from across the organic community. The National Organic Action Plan will set out a broad set of goals to guide organic agriculture in the United States over the next ten years.

This blueprint is derived from the grassroots: farmers and workers, regional processors and retailers, concerned consumers and other community members.   

Why do we need it?

Organic agriculture and the organic market should: support family farmers, protect human health and benefit the environment. The long-term success of the organic market as a viable mechanism requires a coordinated effort to plan ahead and work proactively, rather than merely reacting to policy, programs and industry changes.

This project will enable the organic community to remain focused on the goals of sustainability, diversity and justice in organic agriculture, while being flexible and adaptable in the strategies to reach those goals. 

It will establish verifiable and meaningful benchmarks at the federal, state, marketplace, and civil society levels.  These benchmarks will guide and track progress as we define the farm and food policies critical to success.

Countries all over the world have developed and implemented national organic action plans with clear targets, benchmarks, and protocols to facilitate public accountability of agricultural policies.  The U.S. National Organic Action Plan builds on this experience, but with a focus on the grassroots.

Who organizes it?

The National Organic Action Plan is a collaborative project.

The Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA initiated and leads NOAP.  

The National Organic Coalition provides leadership on issues relating to federal policy. 

Other organizations participate by co-sponsoring dialogue meetings, helping with planning, and fundraising for Summit participation scholarships. 

NOAP Dialogues

Since 2006, NOAP dialogue meetings have engaged more than 300 participants from 28 states at 11 venues across the country.  Topics at these day-long discussions about the future of organic agriculture included: what is working well in organic food and agriculture, current problems in organic agriculture, strategies for strengthening farmer and consumer voices in organic policy, opportunities and challenges in the changing organic marketplace, benchmarks of a successful organic market, subjects for research and education, and other issues.

Results of these dialogues are being compiled into a working draft Action Plan.  A planning team will fine tune this draft plan and develop an agenda for the February 2009 NOAP Summit.

NOAP Summit

NOAP National Summit, February 25th and 26th 2009, convened about 85 participants to review the results of the regional dialogue meetings.  Read the summit discussion paper, Towards a National Organic Action Plan.

The summit developed a plan to advance policy objectives and innovative marketplace tools that ensure organic agriculture’s integrity. It helped members of the organic community take action on federal, state, and local levels.

Progress towards the National Organic Action Plan goals and benchmarks is expected to be evaluated every two to three years. Revisions will be made as needed.  In this way the NOAP will remain a relevant and dynamic blueprint for the future of organic food and agriculture in the United States.

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