Organic Farmers Do NOT Want a Checkoff: Organic Farmer Opposition Surpasses The Organic Trade Association’s Farmer Support for Organic Checkoff
July 11, 2016 – More organic farmers oppose the proposed Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) organic checkoff than support it; the No Organic Checkoff Coalition asks USDA to close the proposed checkoff. The No Organic Checkoff Coalition, a coalition of 26 organic farmer organizations and businesses, now has recorded 1,238 signatories specifically opposed to an organic checkoff. This surpasses the OTA’s 1,166 supporters of their proposed organic checkoff.
In order for any commodity to submit an application to create a new federal mandatory checkoff, the USDA requires that there is “substantial industry support” for such a research and promotion program (checkoff). The No Organic Checkoff Coalition has shown that the organic industry does not support an organic checkoff.
Ed Maltby, Executive Director of the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Association, says that, “members of the coalition knew from our own organizational memberships of certified organic farmers that there was widespread opposition to OTA’s proposed checkoff, and now we have the numbers to prove it. More organic farmers oppose the proposed checkoff every day.” There is no industry support for a federal mandatory organic checkoff and the coalition encourages the AMS to listen to the organic farming community and reject the OTA proposal. A mandatory federal organic checkoff is not the right fit for the organic community. The No Organic Checkoff Coalition calls for AMS to end its review of the proposed checkoff.
The No Organic Checkoff Coalition was organized specifically to SUPPORT the FAIR Act that exempts organic farmers from conventional checkoff programs and to OPPOSE the creation of a new federal organic checkoff program. Together this coalition represents organic farmers from the Western, Midwestern, and Eastern United States.