The gap between supply and demand means many American organic food companies have to rely on foreign suppliers for staples like soybeans, corn and rice—demand that could be met by domestic producers.
A new report from the Environmental Working Group suggests modest Congressional reforms to existing programs could help growers transition away from chemical farming and expand the acreage dedicated to organic agriculture.
"Driven in large part by the multiple environmental and health benefits, Americans' appetites for organic food is seemingly insatiable," said Colin O'Neil, Environmental Working Group's agriculture policy director and author of the report. "The current organic trade deficit presents Congress with a unique chance to expand market opportunities for U.S. producers, while also benefitting consumers, food companies and the environment. With modest reforms to current programs in the next farm bill, Congress can reduce barriers to farmers who want to transition organic methods at no additional cost."
The Environmental Working Group's report details how Congress can play a role in better positioning American farmers to meet the demand for organics, by increasing the number of organic farms and the amount of organic acreage.
"The organic food industry is now one of the fastest growing, most dynamic parts of the food sector, creating tens of thousands of jobs and producing in-demand foods for millions of Americans" said O'Neil. "Members of Congress should take any simple steps they can to reduce barriers to transition and help expand the organic farm footprint here in the U.S.”
COMMENT: Reading between the lines, it looks to me like they are saying the situation would improve if government regulations were curtailed.
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