Charles Benbrook wrote:
>the underlying and very real problems Sal has raised.
> Venting his spleen may make Sal feel better, but it does not a
> movement make. If Sal (and other farmers) were to divert his (their) time
> to making the case for change and coalition building, who would tend his
> (their) farm(s)? ... It remains
> unclear whether the organic farmer will receive a fair share of the
> benefits/burdens when all is said and done.
> How can Sal and other concerned and knowledgeful farmers help? By
> educating the variety of trade, consumer, environmental and other
> organizations that will be doing comments on the proposed organic program
> regulations. Sal has put some key issues on the table that WILL be addressed
> in the regs at length -- fee structures, the size of farms exempt from
> sales, how the exemption should be applied, need to avoid duplicative
> paperwork and overlapping certification, fair treatment of organic farms
> sprayed as part of APHIS region-wide programs (like med-fly control), role
> of genetic engineering in organic farming.
> In response to Deb's questions, both private NGO-like organizations
> and state governments run certification programs. The programs compete for
> business through price, quality, and links to the marketplace. ...
> The USDA is not going to get into the certification business
> directly; what they will do is accredit existing and future certification
> programs as "up to standards". ... At a minimum, USDA
> accreditation will catch, and deal with those certifiers not competing on a
> level laying field, i.e. by offering certification services for half the
> cost, and better yet, with NO PAPERWORK. Send us the money and we'll send
> you our seal. This is not the kind of certification Sal wants to see.
> Once the USDA regulations are in place, the Department will start
> accrediting certifiers, as the law requires. This need not add a new tax on
> organic farmers. Since the regulations are not out, I do not know how the
> costs of accreditation will be set or paid. I do not know how certifiers
> will pass on the costs to their growers. ...
> The basic purpose of certification is to gain and keep consumer
> confidence in organic food, whether grown on a large or small farm. ...
> Stepping back, there are two major dimensions of this debate. One
> dimension/question can be stated simply as -- Is certification needed at
> all? ... Enough said on this front.
> Second, if there is going to be certification, how can it be done
> fairly and efficiently, in ways that build consumer confidence in the
> industry, and which stand the tests of time? ...
> Certification is a formal way for the consumer and farmer to cut a
> deal within dynamic and open marketplaces. The consumer agrees to pay a
> little more, and sometimes go out of their way some, or alter their choices,
> in return for knowing, or at least believing that what they are buying has
> been grown and processed in a substantially different and less ecologically
> damaging way. ...
> Those who support organic farming need to keep their eye on the
> important balls as they work with colleagues, associates and organizations
> to respond to the USDA proposed rule. I think a broad coalition still might
> come together, and through speaking with a more or less united voice, could
> convince USDA to take some of Sal's advise. But there is much work to do to
> go from here to there. Its time to move ahead for those who want to make a
> Note New New Address!!:
> Charles Benbrook 208-263-5236 (voice)
> Benbrook Consulting Services 208-263-7342 (fax)
> 5085 Upper Pack River Road firstname.lastname@example.org [e-mail]
> Sandpoint, Idaho 83864 http://www.pmac.net
Douglas M. Hinds, Director General Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural A.C. (CeDeCoR) (Center for Community and Rural Development) - (non profit) Petronilo Lopez No. 73 (Street Address) Apdo. Postal No. 61 (Mailing Address) Cd. Guzman, Jalisco 49000 MEXICO U.S. Voice Mailbox: 1 630 300 0550 (e-mail linked) U.S. Fax Mailbox: 1 630 300 0555 (e-mail linked) Tel. & Fax: 011 523 412 6308 (direct) e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, dhinds@.ucol.mx
To Unsubscribe: Email email@example.com with "unsubscribe sanet-mg". To Subscribe to Digest: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command "subscribe sanet-mg-digest".