“We are at a critical juncture for the future of organic. We can either leave consumers guessing about what organic is or we can come together to secure our future and create a dedicated Organic Check-Off program that will educate the public about what organic is and its benefit. We can be solely dependent on others for research funds to help solve challenges, or we can generate a pool of funds to help ourselves.” 

Marty Mesh, Executive Director, Florida Organic Growers

In a groundbreaking move for the nation’s organic sector, the Organic Trade Association (OTA), in collaboration with the GRO Organic Core Committee, has formally petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a research and promotion check-off program for organic. This action reflects three years of dialogue with organic farmers, processors, handlers and businesses in town hall meetings, panel discussions, and phone calls. As proposed, the organic check-off would be a full supply chain check-off program, promoting the organic brand and organic production practices. An Executive Summary of the proposal is available which includes an excerpt of the regulation. A copy of the full application can be downloaded here. Please contact OTA ( or 802.275.3800) with questions, or if you are interested in speaking with a member of the GRO Organic Core Committee.

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