USDA seeks ideas for potential organic funding program

by Jeff Gelski
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WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture on May 18 said it is inviting proposals or partial proposals from the public on a new industry-funded promotion, research and information order for organic products.

The request came after the Washington-based Organic Trade Association on May 12 petitioned the USDA to begin steps to implement a research and promotion program for the organics industry. More on that petition may be found at www.groorganic.net.

The USDA now will accept other proposals or partial proposals until June 19. Then the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will consider the submitted proposals before publishing a proposed organic promotion, research and information order, which would create an industry-funded research and promotion program for organic products under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996.

“AMS staff believes that it is in the best interests of the organic community to solicit a wide range of views before proceeding with the publication of this proposal,” the USDA said May 18. “Consequently, interested parties are invited to submit alternative proposals or partial proposals to assist with the development of an organic promotion, research and information program.”

Proposals may be submitted to Organic Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Room 3071-S, STOP 0201; Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; 1400 Independence Ave., SW; Washington DC 20250-0201. Call (202) 720-5115 for more information.

The 2014 farm bill provided the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to issue an organic commodity promotion order.
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