The USDA recently withdrew its organic livestock and checkoff rules, which signals that the agency likely won’t be setting any higher standards for the organic seal.
Laura Batcha, CEO of the Organic Trade Association, says it’s up to the industry to take over from here. At the OTA annual policy conference, she said USDA has gone as far as it’s willing to go with this. “It’s a real watershed moment for the industry,” she says. “This is the first time we are seeing the market impacted.”
The Hagstrom Report says Batcha was referring to a flattening in the growth of organic egg and dairy sales.
The livestock and poultry requirements would have imposed outdoor living requirements for animals involved in dairy and egg production. That rule has been withdrawn by USDA. At the same time, organic egg companies have labeled their eggs as pasture-raised and consumers have responded.
Batcha says the dairy market is a little more complicated. There’s been an oversupply of organic milk at the same time that consumers are also turning to more plant-based protein. Batcha says the OTA is continuing its lawsuit against USDA for withdrawing the livestock and poultry rule.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.