Natural Foods Merchandiser

OTA seeks input on draft legislation

The Organic Trade Association is hoping to influence organic agriculture and trade through a provision in the 2007 farm bill.

"We envision that all sectors of the organic business community can benefit if we work together on a farm bill that addresses the entire organic value chain," said Katherine DiMatteo, executive director of the OTA.

OTA has proposed the following provisions for the legislation:

  • A national organic agriculture initiative to provide overall policy direction for increasing U.S. organic production;
  • An organic production office to be responsible for coordinating communication between all U.S. Department of Agriculture organic programs;
  • Support and enhancement for existing legislation. "Although progress was made in funding organic production in the 2002 farm bill, some items can be improved and almost all need to be reauthorized," OTA said in a news release;
  • Expansion of existing programs in the USDA to meet the needs of organic producers and the organic trade in general.

OTA is seeking comment on its draft proposal through April 24. Submit comments by e-mail to [email protected]. For further information, contact [email protected].

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