What about all of the farmers who do not live in the vicinity of much
population? There is just not enough people in many parts of the country to
support much production. What about the livestock producers who are unable
to label their products Organic until there are Federal standards for
Organic because of previously existing laws. And what about the vast part
of the population living in fairly dense urban areas with little or no
access to farms.
>I used to work for minimum wage in a crunchy-granola hole-in-the-wall food
>co-op. Last year, I heard a talk by a rep from an organic beans and grains
>company. I was for all the world like a talk from any ag wholesaler. The
>organics made a difference from a marketing standpoint, but not from any of
>the ways that "sustainable" ag is important: farmers, farmworkers, ecology,
>Maybe the question is, Who benefits from standardization?
Clearly standardization benefits larger producers and larger distributors
and larger shippers. If the Standards are well done ( a large IF) they
should work for all fairly well. Here in Oregon the organic farmers had to
work hard to get a decent law passed by the legislature about ten years ago
because the Oregon Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG) decided to get a
definition of organic thru the legislature. As is all too often the case
the definition of Organic coming from OSPIRG, who one would think would be
interested in helping the organic family farms, was too simplistic and
lacking in knowledge of the standards which had already evolved here in
Oregon. Much of the force behind the Federal law came from consumers.
Unfortunately standards are much easier for large entities to work with
than for small ones.
In several previous posts Sal expressed his understanding that he would
have to pay a "tax" to the Federal government under the new standards. To
my understanding he would not need to. In his case CCOF could still be his
certifier, but CCOF's standards would need to at least meet the standards
set in the National Organic Program ( NOP) which may some day come from the
USDA. Sal would just write one check. To what degree CCOF's costs would go
up because of the NOP we can only guess. The same scenario would take place
here in Oregon with OregonTilth. And I do strongly resent not being trusted
by people just as Sal resents it.
93780 River Road
Junction City, OR