The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) seeks stakeholder feedback on regulatory priorities for the development of clear organic standards that support a level playing field and market development.
The National Aquaculture Association recommends everyone sign-up to speak in support of moving up in rulemaking priority the proposed Organic Aquaculture Standards. In 2005 an Aquaculture Working Group was appointed by the National Organic Standards Board and drafted a proposed organic aquaculture rule. This opportunity was welcomed with enthusiasm by the U.S. aquaculture community. A USDA Organic Label will create a positive consumer response, level the playing field for U.S. farmers to compete with foreign farm-raised seafoods labeled organic through foreign certifications, increase market value and increase farm-gate income. A proposed rule has been on hold since 2016.
USDA intends to use information received through public comments to guide the prioritization of future organic standards development. The virtual meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 21, 2022, from 1:00-3:00 pm Eastern Time. Details on how to sign up to make oral comments, submit written comments, and the meeting link (via Zoom), will be posted to the NOP Priorities Listening Session web page, linked below.
The deadline to sign up to make oral comments during the virtual meeting is February 28, 2022. The deadline to submit written comments is March 30, 2022.
What: Listening Session on organic regulatory priorities
When: Monday, March 21, 2022
1:00-3:00pm, Eastern Time
Where: Virtual via Zoom
Web Page: NOP Regulatory Priorities Listening Session
USDA certified organic products are an increasingly important part of American agriculture, and the organic community represents one of the fastest-growing food and farming sectors in the U.S. and global marketplace. NOP protects the integrity of the USDA organic seal, which supports growth in the organic market for organic farms and businesses, and those interested in exploring the organic market. NOP develops the market and protects organic integrity by developing and enforcing clear standards to create a level playing field, and through providing oversight of third-party accredited certifying agents, and providing technical assistance to support farmer and market development.
USDA is committed to the values of diversity and inclusion and works to remove barriers to program participation. An inclusive culture ensures we consider all perspectives and the full range of interests most likely to be affected by any USDA decision or action. USDA believes the variety of perspectives in developing NOP priorities will lead to a regulatory agenda that best supports all those we serve.
For a brief history and rationale supporting a US aquaculture organic rule entitled, Sixteen Years and Counting: An Aquaculture Organic Rule, contact the NAA Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 850-216-2400.
Paul W. Zajicek, Executive Director
National Aquaculture Association (USA)