The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking comments on a proposal for a new industry-funded research and promotion programme.
The proposed Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order would cover certified organic products and would include a range of agricultural commodities, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, poultry, breads, grains, snack foods, condiments, beverages, and packaged and prepared foods.
It would also include non-food items, such as textiles, personal care products, pet food, and flowers. Organic imports – both those certified under the USDA organic regulations and those entering the US under an organic equivalency arrangement – would also be covered.
Like all USDA R&P programmes, the proposed programme would establish a framework to pool resources to develop new organic markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities.
A 17-member board would be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to administer the programme and would be responsible for developing, financing and coordinating activities to support research to benefit the organic industry, to raise consumer awareness of certified organic products in the marketplace, and to improve access to information and data across the organic sector.
A proposed rule with information about the proposed programme will be published in the 18 January 2017 Federal Register. A 60-day public comment period, ending on 20 March 2017, will follow the publication of the proposed rule.