Organic needs a large voice to influence the next Farm BillOrganic needs a large voice to influence the next Farm Bill
At first glance, natural foods have a miniscule share of the Farm Bill’s funding. But the industry can have great influence on how legislators support nutrition programs, organic certification and even food research.
March 30, 2018
“A lot of times, [members of Congress] say, ‘I didn’t hear from anyone about organic research, so I didn’t include it in my priorities.'”
—Megan DeBates, director of legislative affairs, Organic Trade Association
Part 1: Farm Bill 101: How this legislation drives the country’s food supply
Highlights from Mark Lipson, Organic Farming Research Foundation:
More than 79 percent of the Farm Bill’s allocation goes to the SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps.
Organic food programs receive about $1 billion of the more than $954 billion included in the Farm Bill.
Part 2: Organic advocates prioritize their Farm Bill wishes
Farm Bill priorities from the Plant Based Foods Association (Michele Simon), Organic Trade Association (Megan DeBates), Organic Farming Research Foundation (Mark Lipson) and Berkeley Food Institute (Nina Ichikawa).
The USDA needs more funding to protect organic farmers and consumers from fraud.
Publicly funded organic food research drives innovations in the private sector, but more is needed.
Part 3: Everyone in natural foods must make their voices heard
Engage with your members of Congress and know their positions before the midterm elections.
The food industry is one of the biggest economic drivers in the country, affecting both rural and urban areas.
Part 4: The Farm Bill will fail without bipartisan support
Nutrition and agriculture come together, supporting low-income residents in rural and urban areas.
Republicans and Democrats will fight over the Farm Bill until the last minute.
Part 5: Audience members ask about Big Food, conservation research
Big Food companies are buying organic startups, so they care about research and assistance programs.
This session—Farm Bill 2018: What You Need to Know—was recorded at Natural Products Expo West 2018. Click download to access the presentation slides.
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