The National Farmers Union raised concerns that the proposed organic checkoff program wouldn’t adequately represent producers, gives too little money to research and allows too much of the funds raised to be spent on administrative costs. In a statement, NFU President Roger Johnson warned that the proposed board, which will be made up of farmers and processors, does not give enough power to growers, arguing that they “should have a majority of the board seats since they are clearly a majority of all certificate holders.” NFU’s statement is here: http://bit.ly/NFUsaysNO
In response to NFU’s statement, the Organic Trade Association, argued that conventional farmers wouldn’t understand the nuances of a program aimed at organic. In an email to Politico’s MA, Executive Director Laura Batcha wrote that she isn’t “surprised that traditional agricultural organizations might have a hard time understanding some of the unique aspects of an organic program,” and added that the group is looking for “suggestions brought forward by organic stakeholders” to improve the proposal. (Politico Morning Agriculture)
NFU has thousands of organic farmer-members. Many of the state-level NFU chapters have many organic farmers on their boards. How out of touch is OTA with organic farmers in the United States?