You will note my many communications concerning the multiple number of issues
that Sal, Rich, Douglas and others have raised. My record on organic small
to moderate size development stands very clear. What strikes me is the
lacking of creative and practical solutions to truth in organic labeling
problems and consumer trustworthiness of the organic label that is without
question at the core of creating permanent markets for small to moderate size
organic farmers. I challenge all four of you and any others to use OFPA and
RFA (Regulatory Flexibility Act) as the basis of further discussion and
demonstrate where the potential regulatory problems are for organic farmers,
handlers, certifiers and consumers. Attacks and diatribes are getting boring
and tools of those hopelessly mired in cynicism and misinformation in this
case. We are not writing an Act of Congress, we are operating within the
parameters of existing Congressional Acts.
Long ago at the first or second NOSB meeting I and Ozark Small Farm Viability
Project concluded that our opinion would only be one among many. We
concluded that an Act is an Act is an Act of Congress. Know the laws, use
the US laws to insure that the people that matter (listed above) get what
they need to create consistent and worthwhile markets. We were fortunate in
that OFPA was an excellent law for all concerned. But that does not stop the
special interest from trying to reshape it through the Rule writing process
to fulfill their vested interest needs.
All of us are in one way or another already impacted by private or State
organic certifiers. Sal still has not answered me as to who certifies him
though I assume it is CCOF? Does Douglas need to be certified organic as a
handler of organic products from Mexico? (Anyone who receives or otherwise
acquires agricultural products; and processes, packages or stores such
products must be certified as an organic handling operation. However,
Douglas may be a good example of what is called a "commission agent" under
PACA, the Perishable Agricultural Commodity Act, in the US, and in fact does
not have to be certified as an organic handling operation under OFPA because
a "commission agent" by definition does not receive or acquire perishable
product.) and Lawrence, are you being certified by a certifier? Rich is
President of Indiana OCIA. The Indianapolis Star noted that Rich's 1997
field(s) was drifted on by prohibited chemical spray. Under OFPA it will be
mandatory to test successive crop or crops for remaining residue of the
prohibited substance. If found to be present because of pesticide drift,
the crop from certified land cannot be sold as "organic". Under OFPA, the
farm will not be decertified organic, but allowed to continue with a testing
program until the successive crops are free of prohibited substances. No
question this is an added costs to the farmer and should be repaid. With the
National Organic Program in place, a certified farm will have a strong
position to sue for damages for loss of the premium income that they have
generated through being certified by an accredited USDA certification agent.
Under the USDA National Organic Program, a 30 feet or larger buffer strip
will be mandatory where certified organic land contacts conventionally,
chemically treated land. As it stands now, there is no protection for
organic farmers for the additional investment they have made in certification
and three years without the application of synthetic fertilizers and
prohibited substances. Organic is going legit. The wave is only beginning
to break. The organic community has always encouraged all farmers to join in
the new environmentally sound production paradigm. The organic community's
long standing mission is to use market incentive to protect our environment
and our health.
The barriers to organic farming are going to role back with implementation of
the NOP. Now it is virtually impossible to get crop insurance for the
organic crops and certainly not for the potential organic premium loss under
the Federal crop insurance program. Because of not being able to get organic
crop insurance, organic farmers can not get bank loans (or very few of them).
The times they are a changing, and it is coming faster than anyone
imagines--why, because the consumers want "organic" certified products and
OFPA was passed by Congress. Still, constant vigilance is necessary, to make
the NOP benefit small farmers and businesses.
Best Regards, Eric Kindberg
Subj: Re: SMALLFARM-MG> Organic Produce
Date: 97-09-20 12:39:42 EDT
From: email@example.com (Lawrence F. London, Jr.)
To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rich Molini)
CC: email@example.com (sal), Erorganic@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Sorry to post this to the list.
Could someone give me subscription info for the small farm mailing list?
Regarding organic certification: If the USDA organic certification
program thinks I will abide by their regulations and pay the local
control-freak, profiteering, grant mongering certification non-profits
corporations they are out of their collective minds. They've done nothing
to help us small growers; and it appears to me that the USDA certifcation
program is there only to help large organic operations.
Support the fertile crescent concept, your local growers, local economies
and the communities in your region. Sal, as usual and Rich are on the
money with their comments.
I thought you'd be more supportive of small organic local growers, Eric
(Erorganic). As you well know the local NP bozos are still up to their
tricks. Anything happening on the local permaculture, smallfarm, market
gardening front is done by THE GROWERS THEMSELVES, the NC Cooperative
Extension Service and the NCDA marketing division and soil/plant/nematode
testing labs. North Carolina's first Sustainable Small Farming Curriculum
and Library has been started by local growers (and individuals in support
of local growers), the NC CES and Central Carolina Community College.
I think I'll label my produce Naturally Grown (w/o synthetic pesticides
Lawrence F. London, Jr. - InterGarden
Venaura Farm - Dragonfly Market Gardens
mailto:london@sunSITE.unc.edu - mailto:email@example.com
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