Organic summit tackles tight supplies

05/23/2014 04:20:00 PM
Mike Hornick

Expansion of the domestic supply of organic crops topped the agenda for a two-day meeting of the Farmers Advisory Council, part of the Organic Trade Association’s annual policy conference.

The council, established last year, met May 21-22 in Washington, D.C. It began with a meeting identifying the need and options for long-term contracts.

“If farmers can shift the risks through contracts or other relationships, it’s very helpful because if we can shift our risks, we can expand,” council member Doug Crabtree, an organic grain and oilseed grower in Montana, said in a news release.

There were sessions on crop insurance and a proposed organic research and promotion program. The second day ended with a visit to congressional offices to advocate for policies supporting organic, and a discussion of possible next steps.

“The organic farmers across our nations do not currently have a centralized forum to voice their concerns and engage with the larger industry,” Nathaniel Lewis, the trade group’s senior crop and livestock specialist, said in the release.

“We convened the (Farmers Advisory Council) to discuss alternate relationships between crop producers and processors,” Crabtree said. “The goal is to increase the acreage, production and number of farmers producing organic crops.”



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