National Farmers Union proposes organic commodity checkoff program

The National Farmers Union submitted a partial proposal on Monday for an organic commodity checkoff program to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In the proposal, a majority of checkoff funds would go toward agricultural research. The proposal also provides for a producer majority on the board and an inclusive checkoff that gives all organic producers the ability to vote in any referendum establishing the checkoff.

“Domestic consumer demand for organic agricultural products is ever-increasing, and to date, the U.S. has had to rely on imports to meet much of that demand,” NFU President Roger Johnson said. “NFU’s proposal calls for a majority of the checkoff funds to go to agricultural research to ensure consumer demands are met with American-produced organic products, as well as a board composition that has a producer majority in order to better represent the organic industry, and a democratic process that allows for each organic certificate holder to vote on whether or not the checkoff should be established.”

Sixty percent of the checkoff funds are set to go toward agricultural research to provide organic producers in the U.S. with the information they need to keep up with the increasing demand for organic food.

The proposal said the board will consist of 19 members, with 13 of them being organic producers. It would have considerable oversight of the checkoff dollars, including 25 percent for discretionary purposes.

Organizations in this story

National Farmers Union NFU HQ Agriculture House Stoneleigh Park Stoneleigh Warwickshire CV8 2TZ

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