NOSB Calls on Secretary of Agriculture to Restore Fairness in Organic Dairy Sector

Last week, the National Organic Coalition (NOC) convened nearly 100 farmers and organic leaders in St. Paul, Minnesota to discuss some of the most pressing challenges we face as an organic community. This meeting was a precursor to the three-day meeting of National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), a citizen stakeholder board that advises the U.S. Department of Agriculture on organic standards.

 NOC meeting participants discuss ways to strengthen enforcement in the organic dairy sector.

NOC meeting participants discuss ways to strengthen enforcement in the organic dairy sector.

NOC meeting participants discussed lack of fairness in the organic dairy sector, as well as many other topics. NOC has been beating the drum with both Congress, as well as USDA leadership, about the lack of consistent enforcement for dairy pasture requirements and rules regarding how organic dairy livestock are transitioned into organic production (‘origin of livestock’). We believe that this lack of consistent enforcement and fairness has contributed to the oversupply of milk in the marketplace, with devastating effects on pay prices to organic dairy farmers.

In a Q&A session with the top official for the National Organic Program, Deputy Administrator Jenny Tucker, we urged the USDA to take action to level the playing field for organic dairy farmers. In a victory for NOC, the NOSB also took up this issue by passing a unanimous resolution urging USDA Secretary Perdue to issue new regulations on origin of livestock that reflect the will of public stakeholders and the organic community.

 The NOSB passed a resolution in St. Paul urging the Secretary of Agriculture to level the playing field for organic dairy farmers.

The NOSB passed a resolution in St. Paul urging the Secretary of Agriculture to level the playing field for organic dairy farmers.

NOC hopes you will join us in this and other campaigns to bring more fairness and consistency to organic – farmers deserve a level playing field!

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Please spread the word to farmers and citizens who care about the integrity of organic.

The next NOSB Meeting and NOC Pre-NOSB Meeting will take place from April 23-26 in Seattle! Learn more and register via the NOC website: https://www.nationalorganiccoalition.org/events/

Lea Kone