TPP Improvements for Passage on Capitol Hill; UDSA to Establish “Transitional” Organic Designation
Last week, a major trade group pledged support to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. The National Foreign Trade Council vowed support for the TPP while saying it is encouraged by talks between lawmakers and the Obama administration aimed at making improvements to the TPP deal that will improve its chances of passage on Capitol Hill. The trade deal is gaining support from a large number of agriculture groups, as they say, the deal would substantially expand U.S. agriculture exports.
The Organic Trade Association intends to ask USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service to establish a “transitional” organic designation for farmers who are converting their land to organic production. OTA would ask AMS to manage the transitional designation under its “Process Verified Program.” The designation would be a clear signal to the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, that a farmer is committed to the transition and worthy of the assistance NRCS can provide. Under the proposal, Farmers must not use prohibited chemicals on their land for three years before their production can be declared organic.