[12 December/Food Dive]

The USD867 billion Farm Bill proposal reported from committee and passed by the Senate is being welcomed by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) as it establishes permanent funding for organic research and makes progress in improving the oversight and integrity of organic trade.  The permanent funding comes in the form of a USD50 million annual allocation to the Organic Research and Extension initiative by 2023 which will ensure stable, baseline mandatory funding for the programme to help organic farmers meet the unique challenges they face according to Laura Batcha, OTA’s CEO.  Other programmes to be funded included improved trade oversight to make sure organic integrity is protected throughout the global supply, financial support to help farmers transition to organics and full funding for the organic data initiative to provide accurate market and production information.  The Farm Bill is expected to pass through the House of Representatives and President Trump has indicated he is supportive of the bill.