OTA Organic Report Spring 2022

SPRING 2022 ORGANICREPORT Recognizing Inspiring Leaders Organic Pioneer Award Recipient MAYRA VELAZQUEZ DE LEON

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OTA.COM 3 Contents FRONT PIECE 5 Leading Through Challenging Times LEADERSHIP 6 O rganic Trade Association Awards Recognize Inspiring Leaders 14 Three Congressional Champions of Organic Announce Retirement 16 L ongtime Leaders Join Team Organic at USDA DATA & INSIGHTS 12 O rganic Market Basket A Closer Look at the Long Tail of the Pandemic Buying Surge 26 S hoppers Value Organic Attributes, Lack Familiarity with the Label UPDATE FROM CCOF 20 T ransitioning to Organic to Combat Climate Change REGULATORY 24 Hot off the Press— Our Updated GORP Guide 34 T he Dirt on Organic Farming Podcast— OATS Answers Some of the Most Common Skepticisms of Organic 44 R MA to Partially Address Organic Agriculture Crop Insurance Concerns LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS 36 S etting Up Priorities for Organic for Next Farm Bill THE ORGANIC CENTER 30 A grochemicals’ Harm on Social Justice 32 E xploring the Need for AgTech for the Organic Sector MEMBER COMMUNITIES 41 Member Community Round-Up ORGANIC WORLDWIDE 49 L ooking Back on 2021 International Trade Successes PERSPECTIVE 55 “ Organic Consumer” is an Oxymoron DEPARTMENTS 22 Student Spotlight— Aliça Diehl 53 New Members 56 New Products 59 News Bites 6 12 17 20

Spring 2022 ORGANIC REPORT 4 CORN SOYBEANS ALFALFA FORAGES Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved."Blue River" is a registered trademark of Blue River Organic Seeds, LLC. Products available by Blue River Organic Seeds, L.L.C. are available only in states where it is licensed. Individual results may vary and are dependent upon additional factors, including but not limited to weather, agronomic conditions and practices, and commodity prices. Terms and conditions apply. “FBN” and the sprout logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. BLUERIVERORGSEED.COM

5 OTA.COM HAPPY SPRING! This edition of the Organic Report has much to say about the power of leadership to drive organic forward. It is always inspiring to hear about those whose careers have taken them beyond the day-to-day to break new ground for organic, their communities and the planet. This year’s Organic Leadership Awards introduce us to six individuals whose care, creativity, and tenacity have expanded organic’s impacts in meaningful ways (Page 6). Given the enormity of the challenges humanity faces—pandemic, changing climate, supply chains strained to the brink, not to mention issues unique to organic such as the regulatory stall that threatens to undermine consumer trust (see Page 26), our obstacles can feel overwhelming. Yet if we step back, there is progress to report for organic: needed improvements to crop insurance (Page 44), help for farmers making the transition to organic (Pages 8 and 16), new ways technology can benefit organic (Page 32), a gradual return to international trade activities (Page 49), and a revitalized presence for organic at retail (Page 24) are all worth celebrating. This year will see the retirement of several of organic’s Congressional champions (Page 14). This echoes what is happening in the private sector as many of the forerunners of organic seek their next chapters. The organic community is grateful for their contributions and welcomes the next generation of leaders to make their mark (Page 53). While we’ve made some inroads, there is still so much to do! We are moving into Farm Bill season (Page 36) when advocacy from our member community is of critical importance. Meanwhile, two leaders well known to the organic sector have joined USDA in prominent positions. You can read more about the new roles for Jenny Lester Moffitt and Marni Karlin on Page 16, as well as the initiatives they will be called to advance during their time at the department, including moving forward on long-delayed rulemaking, reducing barriers to organic transition and certification, and promoting organic’s climate benefits. Finally, to re-center us on one of the many reasons organic matters, The Organic Center’s Social Justice Intern, Jayson Porter, shared some insights around the devastating effects of agrochemicals on communities of color (Page 30). Give that a read, and see if you don’t come back newly invigorated to fight for an agricultural system that benefits the many. In gratitude, Angela Jagiello Editor Angela Jagiello Leading Through Challenging Times Front Piece OTA BOARD OF DIRECTORS president Paul Schiefer • Amy’s Kitchen secretary Britt Lundgren • Stonyfield Farm treasurer Domenic Borrelli • Danone North America Doug Crabtree • Vilicus Farms Kim Dietz • Firmenich Inc. Matthew Dillon • Clif Bar & Company Tracy Favre • Fig Hill Farm Consulting Ann Marie Hourigan • Whole Foods Market Kellee James • Mercaris Bob Kaake • Slice of Kaake Consulting David Lively • Organically Grown Company Michael Menes • True Organic Products Adam Warthesen • CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley Javier Zamora • JSM Organics contributors: Laura Batcha, Alexis Carey, Cassandra Christine, Danielle Coté, Megan DeBates, Aliçe Diehl, Reana Kovalcik, Mallory Krieger, David Lively, Libby Mucciarone, Jayson Porter, Jeff Schahczenski, Jessica Shade, Darci Vetter, and Rebekah Weber copy editor: Barbara Haumann editor: Angela Jagiello design: LLM Publications Copyright © 2022, Organic Trade Association Printed on paper from sustainably managed forests with inks that are 30% renewable. The Organic Report is published by the Organic Trade Association as a service to its members and the organic community. Re-publication of short excerpts is permitted without fee. Contact OTA staff to arrange for the use of longer material. The material contained in this magazine is for the information of the organic community. Although the information is believed to be correct, OTA disclaims all responsibility for any damage or reliance on the information contained in this publication, nor is the appearance of advertisements a warranty, endorsement or approval of the products or services advertised. The Organic Trade Association does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/family status. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information, should contact us at info@ota.com. ORGANIC TRADE ASSOCIATION headquarters: Hall of The States, 444 N. Capitol St., NW Ste 445A, Washington, DC 20001 phone: 202-403-8520 locations Brattleboro, VT • Santa Cruz, CA • Corvallis, OR web: www.ota.com • email: info@ota.com TheOrganicReport.com

Spring 2022 ORGANIC REPORT 6 Organic Trade Association Awards Recognize Inspiring Leaders THE ORGANIC Trade Association (OTA) has been recognizing inspiring and innovative leaders in our industry for over 20 years. In 1997, the first-ever OTA Leadership Award was given to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for his groundbreaking work in developing the national organic standards and helping to bring the U.S. Department of Agriculture Organic seal to life. Every year since, OTA has recognized a diverse group of leaders whose peers have put them forward for this prestigious award. For 2021, OTA expanded our award categories in recognition of the outstanding work our members have done to help both their neighbors and the organic industry stay strong throughout the COVID pandemic. In addition to OTA’s historic Organic Pioneer and Organic Farmer of the Year Awards, OTA is recognizing two new categories of leaders through the Community Service and Climate Action awards. Winners, to be honored as part of OTA’s 2022 Organic Week event, include: X Organic Pioneer: Mayra Velazquez de Leon, Organics Unlimited X Organic Farmer of the Year: Amy Bruch, Cyclone Farms X Community Service: Cassie Cypers and Scott Erickson, Clif Bar & Company X Climate Action: Britt Lundgren, Stonyfield X Posthumous Pioneer: Amigo Bob Cantisano These leaders and their efforts motivate and encourage all of us in the organic industry to continue improving and creating a more equitable and sustainable future. Their dedication motivates us to work harder, be more creative in our problem-solving, and to continue to prioritize people and planet above all else.

OTA.COM 7 ORGANIC PIONEER MAYRA VELAZQUEZ DE LEON Organics Unlimited Mayra Velazquez de Leon co-founded Organics Unlimited in 2000, but her connection to organic has been with her from the very beginning. Over 50 years ago, Mayra’s father Carlos Cortez became the first commercial organic grower to bring organic bananas to the U.S. Carlos’ bananas were so delicious that customers began asking how on earth he was able to produce such fruits. The secret? Organic production methods, which Carlos had learned from his father, that leveraged local resources and abstained from harmful pesticides or other supplements. That client helped Carlos to expand his organic business, and in 1972, he brought it and his family to the United States. Led by her love for organic tropical fruit and her pioneering spirit, Mayra worked hard to build on her father’s legacy. With the founding of Organics Unlimited in 2000, Mayra would successfully grow the family business into what is today—the largest family-run organic banana company in the country. Organics Unlimited offers Cavendish bananas, plantains, and coconuts sourced from sustainably operated organic farms across Mexico and Ecuador. In addition to investing in environmental sustainability by growing only organic tropical fruits, Mayra and Organics Unlimited also believe in investing in their workers. Organics Unlimited launched GROW in 2005 as a social responsibility initiative to help poverty-stricken banana-growing regions in Mexico and Ecuador. Over the past 15 years, GROW has provided nearly $3 million in support for education and health initiatives, micro-businesses and environmental programs, as well as disaster relief efforts. In 2021, Organics Unlimited added a Fair-Trade Certified label to its lineup as an additional way the company could support sustainable prices for farmers and healthy farming communities. Under Mayra’s direction, Organics Unlimited has grown into a company able to care for its customers and its workers even through the most challenging times. “These are among the hardest years we’ve encountered due to the international supply chain obstacles and the issue of fair pricing for bananas,” says Mayra. “That being said, the biggest asset that has gotten us through is our community. We are evidence of what is possible when a community comes together and aligns to contribute to a food system that is good for our environment and fair to the people who grow our food.” OTA is proud to have members like Mayra and Organics Unlimited who see organic not only as a climate-smart agricultural system, but also as a community. A communitycentric approach is critical to the growth of not only our association, but of the organic industry at-large. “We can be crazy enough to change the world,” says Mayra. “Organic is the work of many people leaving their sweat in the ground, investing in natural inputs to protect our environment and our future generations. Being part of OTA is important to the work we do because it gives us a collective voice. We have a community that we can rely on to protect the integrity of the industry and the values of the organic movement.” “ As a legend in organic banana farming, [Carlos Cortes Sr.] also paved the way for all who followed in his footsteps. His legacy now lives on through his contributions to a better, more sustainable food system and through four generations of family banana growers that continue his visionary work,” said Mayra Velazquez de Leon, Organics Unlimited. She announced Carlos’ passing in January of 2022.

ORGANIC FARMER OF THE YEAR AMY BRUCH CYCLONE FARMS The Organic Leadership Award is given to visionaries who have advanced organic by promoting the industry’s climate change mitigation practices, investing in social responsibility initiatives, leading organic transition programs and keeping the organic community safe during COVID-19. Nominated by her peers and unanimously supported by OTA’s Board of Directors, Nebraska’s Amy Bruch of Cyclone Farms is the first female primary-operator to ever receive this honor. “I am thankful for OTA’s diverse member network, which provides a forum for collaboration and robust conversations on topics that impact the organic sector,” says Amy. “There is strength in numbers, and I am impressed with what has been and will be accomplished.” Amy has been an organic farmer for nearly a decade now, stepping into a leadership role at Cyclone Farms following the sudden death of her father, Gary. Amy has transformed Cyclone Farms into one of the most cutting-edge organic farms in the nation by leading the transition of nearly 2,500 highly productive acres to organic, and working alongside Neal Kinsey to implement his Kinsey-Albrecht soil health system. Today, Cyclone Farms produces 10 different, high-quality organic crops for human consumption. Speaking to Nebraska’s York News-Times, Amy says of organic farming, “There isn’t a road map for what we do and there is definitely not an ‘easy’ button... It requires very detailed plans, management, and record keeping, but it has allowed for my husband and I—and our team—to dive deeper into soil balancing, applying new technology, and expanding our team to allow additional opportunities for those interested in agriculture to get involved.” Amy has not only led Cyclone Farms’ transition to organic, she’s also helping farmers across the country transition through the organic consulting company, Agrisecure. Through Agrisecure, of which Amy is a co-founder, Amy and her team have helped convert over 65,000 acres across 15 states to organic production. Folks report her leadership has set the pace for getting growers through transition and fully certified to organic. “In farming, there are always variables that we can’t control... and the pandemic has made us even more humble in this regard,” says Amy. “It has pushed us and our farms to be more resourceful and creative. Having the right attitude, maintaining our connections with the organic community despite limited in-person opportunities, and brainstorming plans to succeed together is how we take on the unexpected.” Thanks to Amy’s leadership, more farmers in Nebraska and across the country have the encouragement and the tools they need to transition their operations to organic and become more resilient through times of crisis.

OTA.COM 9 COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD CASSIE CYPERS & SCOTT ERICKSON CLIF BAR & COMPANY When it comes to cultivating community, Clif Bar’s Cassie Cypers (Senior Sustainable Brand Development Manager) and Scott Erickson (Executive Chef of “Kali’s Kitchen”) believe in going above and beyond. Because of their passion and dedication, both Cassie and Scott are the first honorees to receive OTA’s new Community Service Award. This award was created to recognize individuals and companies who have gone above and beyond standard business practices to become a source of positivity and stability for customers and organic community members during the COVID pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, Clif Bar has demonstrated compassion and creativity. The company has directed vast resources toward pandemic response efforts, found innovative ways to continue serving customers and community members, and shown care and concern for its employees by enhancing benefits and prioritizing health and safety. Within Clif Bar, Cassie and Scott are on the front lines of these inspirational community service efforts. “At Clif Bar, serving our community is at the core of who we are as a company. The pandemic has created a critical need to sustain people in our community and we are fortunate to have been able to use our resources to help people in need,” says Cassie. “We are inspired to serve our community and knowing we can make a positive impact on people’s lives makes us want to give even more.” Recently promoted to Senior Sustainable Brand Development Manager from her former role as Senior Manager, Community Philanthropic Partnerships, Cassie has spent the last several years leading Clif Bar’s community service efforts. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Cassie has been on the frontline of Clif ’s community COVID response efforts. Under her leadership, Clif has donated 14 million nutritious bars to first responders and food insecure communities (another 14 million were donated over 2021!), and worked with farmworkerfocused non-profit organizations to deploy over $300,000 in PPE to farmworkers across California, where Clif Bar is headquartered. Cassie has been a valued member of the Clif team for over 26 years. Scott is a Bay-area resident and has been with Clif Bar for 11 years. As Executive Chef for Clif Bar’s employee café, it’s Scott’s job to keep staff fed well. When the pandemic struck, Scott made it his mission to not just feed Clif ’s employees, but to also care for his fellow community members. Rather than shut down the café during the pandemic, he kept his staff on and pivoted from providing lunch to in-office staff to making meals for at-risk neighbors by launching the Kali’s Community Kitchen Program. To help him maximize his impact, Scott also partnered with Oakland-based community organization Homies for Empowerment and their FREEdom Store as well as Oakland Unified School District. “With food insecurity increasing dramatically during the pandemic, one of the many projects our Clif culinary team took on was to pack weekly homecooked meals for 400 hundred volunteers for the Oakland Unified School District,” says Scott. “These meals were made at our headquarters in Emeryville, using ingredients grown right in our Clif garden. Volunteers helped us to manage 22 local food distribution sites, ensuring that students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch were still getting those meals while schools were closed.” Together, Scott and his partners have provided roughly 300,000 meals to date!

CLIMATE ACTION AWARD BRITT LUNDGREN STONYFIELD Another new honor this year is the Organic Climate Action Award, which recognizes a person or company demonstrating exemplary leadership in advancing organic solutions to mitigate climate change through policy advocacy, farm to business innovation, or engagement. There are few climate advocates more deserving of this award than Britt Lundgren, Director of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture at Stonyfield. Britt leads Stonyfield’s efforts to reduce emissions from agriculture, focusing particularly on improving the sustainability of the dairy sector, and also spearheads the organization’s federal policy advocacy on organic and climate change solutions. Britt also currently serves as Secretary of the OTA Board, President of the Association’s Dairy Sector Council, co-chair of its Climate Change Task Force, and a member of several other OTA task forces and councils. “Organic farming systems are leading the way when it comes to developing farming practices that are better for the environment and for fighting climate change,” says Britt. “I’m glad to see conventional agriculture embracing the idea that we need to take action on climate change, but we need to make sure that organic producers—who have been doing the right things all along—are not left behind.” Over the past five years, a major focus of Britt’s work has been the development, funding, and launch of OpenTEAM—an open-source “smart-farming” platform that hopes to provide farmers and scientists with in-depth knowledge about managing soil health and soil carbon sequestration. OpenTEAM, which stands for Open Technology Ecosystem for Agricultural Management, is a collaborative effort between Stonyfield, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, and Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture & the Environment. These major food, farm, and climate organizations are working together to deliver quantitative feedback on millions of acres of farmland by 2024, which will help farmers to sequester carbon and promote adaptive soil health management. “I believe the shared sense that we’re working to make the world a healthier place really helps people feel connected to Stonyfield and the work we are doing,” says Britt. “That shared connection makes us a stronger team, even when we’re coping with the many challenges that have emerged during the pandemic.”

OTA.COM 11 POSTHUMOUS PIONEER AWARD AMIGO BOB CANTISANO Last, but certainly not least, OTA recognizes the late Amigo Bob Cantisano for his decades of service to the organic agriculture movement. Amigo, a ninth-generation Californian, came up with a generation of largely urban youth who moved back to the land in the 1970s and began farming as a way to reform the food industry. He was a staunch defender of the environment, farmworker safety, and healthy food, and battled the pesticides industry his entire life. He is considered by many to be the Godfather of California organic agriculture. OTA is honored to celebrate each of these leaders of the organic industry and to share their stories with our members and with the wider community. Their leadership, work ethic, and impressive achievements serve as guiding lights as we continue to learn, grow, and build community within and beyond the organic industry. Reana Kovalcik is the Organic Trade Association’s Director of Public Relations. Basic, boring, and bland flavors just don’t cut it anymore. Exceed consumers’ expectations by going beyond basic and introducing flavors that inspire and excite. Fuchs is at the forefront of flavor. We’ll take the guesswork out of consumers’ cravings and innovate for you. Flavor THE NEXT GENERATION OF See how Fuchs can partner with your brand to make something special: fuchsna.com Organic Southwest Chicken Bowl ®

Spring 2022 ORGANIC REPORT 12 A CLOSER LOOK The Long Tail of the Pandemic Buying Surge FOR THE latest edition of the Organic Market Basket, we’re looking at the 13-week period ending just after Thanksgiving 2021. The major factor in evidence in this basket is that sales of pantry staples and longer storing perishables (such as carrots and frozen peas) are down significantly from their pandemic boom days of a year prior. It’s tempting to look at all the red spilled on this data table and worry for the long-term prospects of center store grocery. Instead, it’s important to contextualize the figures and then look to the future. First, for context: it is tough to overstate the level to which shoppers loaded in on organic food in 2020. The economic shift from services to goods (i.e. restaurants to groceries) was truly off the charts, and when we compare figures year over year, it’s easy to see why moderate growth gets lost in the numbers. Bottom line: when you average these categories out to include 2019, 2020 and 2021, you see most of them are humming along, with overall basket averages growth of 10% in dollars and 8% in units. Now for a look to the future, where there’s plenty of room for optimism. A walk through center store shows that many of the staple categories that excelled in 2020 reinvested those gains, revitalizing some formerly sleepy product groups. The result is a crop of refreshed takes on old favorites, including packaging and ingredient upgrades. Additionally, many of the major nutritional paradigms of the past few years—plant-based, keto, paleo, grain- and gluten-free—took a while to present themselves in certified organic form. This, too, is shifting, and increasingly shoppers can have all their desired nutritional attributes along with the assurance of a certified organic product. For years, innovation and marketing investments had been directed away from center store, and toward fresh refrigerated products. Now we see the tide turning toward rebuilding the other side of the business. As a reminder, the Organic Market Basket is a periodic look at a basket of 20 organic grocery items. The snapshot reports volume and average retail price changes for a range of items which, taken together, are broadly representative of U.S. organic food sales. It is produced in partnership with long-time member company SPINS. Angela Jagiello is the Director of Education & Insights for the Organic Trade Association. For years, innovation and marketing investments had been directed away from center store, and toward fresh refrigerated products. Now we see the tide turning toward rebuilding the other side of the business. 

OTA.COM 13 AVERAGE RETAIL PRICE AVERAGE RETAIL PRICE % CHANGE* DOLLAR VOLUME INCREASE* (DECREASE) UNIT VOLUME INCREASE* (DECREASE) Apples (4 lbs.) $5.76 14.0% 18.2% 3.6% Bananas (2 lbs.) $1.36 (0.7%) 40.9% 41.9% Carrots (5 lbs.) $3.71 (6.2%) (25.1%) (20.2%) Packaged Salad (5 oz.) $3.33 2.6% 9.1% 6.4% Butter (16 oz.) $5.12 (2.4%) (21.0%) (19.0%) Eggs, Large (dozen) $4.58 (0.4%) (2.3%) (1.9%) Milk (half gallon) $3.96 (0.7%) (3.1%) (2.3%) Orange Juice (52 oz.) $4.80 2.8% 9.4% 6.5% Yogurt (32 oz.) $4.27 (2.4%) 4.3% 6.8% Almond Milk (32 oz.) $2.74 (0.7%) (8.0%) (7.4%) Chicken Stock (32 oz.) $2.22 6.2% (40.0%) (43.5%) Chocolate Bar (3 oz.) $2.65 (1.8%) 4.2% 6.2% Coffee (12 oz.) $10.65 5.8% 16.2% 9.9% Olive Oil (16.9 oz.) $5.52 (1.2%) (7.2%) (6.0%) Sandwich Bread $5.72 2.6% 6.0% 3.3% Pasta (16 oz.) $1.90 0.9% (21.5%) (22.2%) Tomatoes (12 oz.) $2.29 1.1% (22.4%) (23.2%) Peas (10 oz.) $2.73 0.3% (27.2%) (27.4%) Pizza $7.39 5.0% 4.6% (0.4%) Ground Turkey (16 oz.) $7.21 2.9% (0.3%) (3.1%) *vs. prior 52 week figures GRAND TOTAL $87.90 3.4% (0.4%) (3.7%) What’s in the basket? The Organic Market Basket follows a collection of some of the best-selling organic items in the grocery store. Organic Trade Association’s Organic Market Basket is made possible through a data partnership with SPINS. REFRIGERATED GROCERY FROZEN PRODUCE MARKET BASKET JANUARY, 2022 Welcome to the Organic Trade Association’s Organic Market Basket, which provides a periodic look at a basket of twenty organic grocery items. The snapshot reports volume and average retail price changes for the range of items which, taken together, are broadly representative of U.S. organic food sales.

Spring 2022 ORGANIC REPORT 14 Three Congressional Champions of Organic Announce Retirement Leadership THE LAST couple of years have been challenging, to say the least. And in Washington, D.C., things have been no different. As many people reevaluate their lives and reflect on what is most important to them, three giants in U.S. Congress who have led support for the organic sector have decided it is finally time to hang up their hats. Collectively they represent 108 years of public service in the U.S House of Representatives and Senate. Two of them—Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR)— were the original authors of the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) signed into law in 1990 to create federal standards for the burgeoning organic agriculture movement, now a more than $62 billion a year industry. DeFazio and Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) who also announced he won’t be seeking reelection in 2022, founded and co-chaired the House Organic Caucus, a group of bipartisan lawmakers dedicated to promoting the organic sector that now counts more than 50 representatives in their roster. A LEGACY LIKE NO OTHER Known as the “Grandfather of Organic,” Senator Patrick Leahy was Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture during the development of the 1990 farm bill. He introduced and championed the OFPA, ensuring its inclusion in the farm bill, no easy feat given the staunch opposition from the conventional agriculture community and members of Congress who represented them. After the bill was signed into law, Senator Leahy fought fiercely for its implementation, and to this day has advocated for robust federal funding and support of the organic sector. He has been a true friend of organic farmers in his great state of Vermont and across the nation. PUNCHING ABOVE YOUR WEIGHT If Leahy is known as the Grandfather of Organic, then Congressman Peter DeFazio from Oregon might be dubbed “the Godfather of Organic.” When OFPA passed the Senate, Leahy had to find a champion to carry it across the finish line in the House, an even more insurmountable challenge than the Senate because of fierce opposition from both the leadership and rank and file at the House Agriculture Committee. DeFazio volunteered for the thankless task. Fiery and passionate, he was willing to stick his neck out despite being a junior member of Congress with only one term under his belt and having never served on the Agriculture Committee. Not surprisingly, when the Farm Bill passed out of the House Agriculture Committee, it did not include OFPA. Not one “Congressman DeFazio was willing to introduce and f ight for the Organic Foods Production Act in the House of Representatives when no one else would consider doing so. He has taken the lead for decades on organic policy, always with the goal of advocating for directions that would allow organic farmers, handlers, and processers to prosper. His leadership will be sorely missed by many, but especially by those of us who have had the honor of working with him on organic policy issues over his decades as an important member of the organic community,” says Lynn Coody of Organically Grown Company. “I ’m so grateful for all that Senator Leahy taught me about public service, standing up for what is right, and being gracious in a town not known for that attribute. There’s more to be said, but for now, I will leave it at, thank you, Senator. I admire you so very much!” said Kathleen Merrigan, Executive Director, Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems, Arizona State University.

OTA.COM 15 to back down from a challenge, DeFazio said he’d offer the bill as an amendment during the floor debate, a highly risky endeavor given that both the Chair and Ranking member of the Committee opposed the amendment. To everyone’s shock, the amendment was adopted with a final vote of 234-189, ensuring that OFPA would become the law of the land and kickstarting the development of the National Organic Program. DeFazio has remained a steadfast champion of organic agriculture over his long career, founding the House Organic Caucus in 2003. DEFENDER OF FAMILY FARMS Much more than just a cheese head, Congressman Ron Kind from Wisconsin came to Congress determined to save the small family dairy farm. After the farm crisis of the 1980s ripped apart the fabric of many rural communities across the Midwest, Kind became a staunch defender of supporting the little guys. A native of La Crosse, he also represented the world’s largest organic farming cooperative, Organic Valley. Along with DeFazio, he co-chaired the House Organic Caucus for more than a decade. In addition to his support for organic agriculture, Kind was one of the first farm state lawmakers to advocate for reforming our nation’s broken agriculture subsidy system that unfairly propped up large agribusiness and cash crops at the expense of family farmers. He was the loudest Congressional critic of crop insurance policies and direct cash payments that flowed to a handful, and successfully fought to eliminate harmful programs and reimagine the federal support system for American farms. A NEW GENERATION OF LEADERS The retirement of these public servants who were early supporters of organic mirrors what is happening in the sector overall, where some of the original founders of the organic movement are also retiring. The loss of these giants and their knowledge no doubt will have an impact, but it also presents the movement with a critical opportunity to pass the baton to a new, more diverse generation of leaders. There’s a new crop of young, passionate Congressmembers who have seen the benefits organic brings to their communities. Many of them are devoted consumers of organic themselves and are raising their kids on organic food. Let’s seize on this opportunity and enthusiasm to bring organic into the future. We’ve come a long way, but in reality, we’re just getting started. Megan DeBates is Vice President of Government Affairs at the Organic Trade Association. “Ron saw the potential organic agriculture offered farmers in the Midwest and nationally. By visiting dozens of organic farms and organic businesses over the years, it ’s part of his lived, truly authentic experience,” says Adam Warthesen, Director of Government and Industry Affairs for Organic Valley. “He’s been a steadfast champion of organic agriculture and family farmers. He understood organic as a movement but also a business opportunity to foster. A huge thanks to Representative Kind for his contributions and leadership as a cochair of the House Organic Caucus over the years. He’s been such a go-to-guy for organic that we are really going to miss him.”

Spring 2022 ORGANIC REPORT 16 Longtime Leaders Join Team Organic at USDA Leadership AMERICAN CONSUMERS are more focused now than ever before on the healthfulness and environmental impact of their purchases. As the historic leader in health and environmental sustainability, the organic industry has a unique opportunity to fundamentally shift the food and farm landscape. To transform opportunity into reality, the industry will need support from our partners on Capitol Hill, especially the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Organic Trade Association (OTA) recently spoke to two long-time leaders in organic—who now serve in key positions at USDA—about their vision for the future of the industry: Jenny Lester Moffitt, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, and Marni Karlin, Senior Advisor, Organic and Emerging Markets. INTRODUCTIONS Jenny Lester Moffitt grew up in California on her family’s walnut farm, which transitioned to organic in 1989 and became certified in 1992. At the time, the organic industry was still incredibly small—there were few other organic farmers from whom to learn and no processors for organic nuts in the area. Jenny spent her youth helping the family navigate partnerships with other local farms, Resource Conservation Districts, Cooperative Extension, and USDA agencies. She even spent some of her school breaks at the helm of the family fax machine, reaching out to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service to find lists of potential buyers and shipping out samples across the globe. Having gained such deep experience at such a young age, it’s no wonder that Jenny went on to run the family farm, high-level positions with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and eventually landed at USDA. “For me, a big takeaway from that life was understanding there’s not one silver bullet,” says Moffitt. “We really have to take a whole systems approach; we need to look at how everything ties together. That connectivity, I take it into all the work that I do, including policy making.” Jenny started with CDFA in 2015 and served as Under Secretary from 2018– 2021. While there, she spearheaded the development of California’s Climate Smart Agriculture programs, which include water, land conservation, and soil initiatives. Together, these programs provide resources for California’s farmers, ranchers, and tribes to enhance the sustainability of their operations, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and store carbon in soils and trees. “When I came in [to CDFA], we’d just announced the healthy soils initiative and grew it into something really incredible,” says Jenny. “We went from not even talking about ‘climate smart’ to investing over one billion dollars in climate smart agriculture across the state over the course of my tenure.” In 2021, Jenny was confirmed as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the United States Department of Agriculture, the first woman to serve in the position. Jenny describes three key items on her agenda as Under Secretary: • Enhancing local and regional supply chains by expanding local processing capacity and creating open and transparent markets for greater fairness. • Ensuring fairness and equity by ensuring that producers to have access to USDA and that consumers can make educated buying decisions. • Continuing to elevate and integrate organic into more areas of USDA because of all the great work being done by organic producers. Marni Karlin is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, whose head for law and the regulatory world is balanced by a heart and soul that relish good food and cooking. Marni graduated from The George Washington University with a degree in International Economics, received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, and holds a Culinary Arts diploma from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. She has traveled the nation and the world gaining years of experience in law, policy, and organic food systems. Jenny Lester Moffitt Marni Karlin

OTA.COM 17 Marni’s experience in the organic sector runs deep. She previously served as OTA’s Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel, where she represented the interests of the organic food, fiber, and agriculture sector in Washington, D.C. She has also done significant consulting work with stakeholders across the organic supply chain, and served as the North American representative on the International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standard. In the emerging markets space, Marni was the founding Executive Director of the CEA Food Safety Coalition, a trade association of controlled environment grown leafy greens sector stakeholders. In 2021, Marni joined USDA as Senior Advisor, Organic and Emerging Markets, where she supports the Secretary by directly relaying trends, needs, and opportunities in the sector. “I work in partnership throughout the Department, making sure my colleagues have a good understanding of organic issues and industry stakeholders,” says Marni. “I really view my ability to do my job well as dependent on my ability to engage with stakeholders and talk with farmers and those along the supply chain. What we’re doing at USDA needs to reflect the realities that folks are living on the ground.” ORGANIC BY THE NUMBERS U.S. organic sales soared to a new high in 2020, jumping by over 12% to a recordsetting $61.9 billion in annual sales according to OTA’s 2021 Organic Industry Survey. Growth continued in 2021, with organic food capturing nearly 6% of total U.S. food sales and non-food organic sales jumping by roughly 9% to $5.4 billion in annual sales. As the coronavirus pandemic continued into 2021, the organic industry witnessed a notable rise in consumers who wanted to prepare healthy meals at home—including an increased interest in trying new foods or methods of cooking, such as bread baking. Selection of organic grocery staples, both fresh and prepared products, sharply rose as personal and environmental health moved to the forefront of consumers’ minds. While pantry stocking was the main growth driver over this period, every sector saw strong gains. Sales of organic flours and baking ingredients grew by 30%, sauces and spices pushed the $2.4 billion condiments category to a growth rate of 31%, organic meat, poultry, and fish sales rose by roughly 25%, and organic spice sales increased by an impressive 51% (triple their 2019 growth rate). Organic fruit and vegetables performed especially well, representing 15% of all retail produce sales in 2021 and are expected to push past 50% by 2030. Organic businesses have embraced the opportunities brought by this surge of growth by enhancing customer engagement, expanding product lines to accommodate current dietary trends (e.g., Keto, Paleo), and modernizing brand stories to better highlight organic ingredients and producers. Supply and value chain issues, however, remain concerns. While the pandemic created many opportunities for short-term growth, it has also highlighted—and in many cases exacerbated—the supply chain constraints that limit organic’s long-term growth potential. GROWING ORGANIC Despite sales growing by more than double the rate of the overall U.S. food market last year, certified organic acres still only make up less than 1% of all U.S. crop and pastureland. To meet demand and continue transitioning the U.S. to more sustainable production methods, more producers and more acres must transition to organic. One of the best ways to expand the community of organic growers is through continued investment in USDA’s organic certification cost share and transition programs. In November 2021, USDA announced $20 million in support funds would be made available through the new Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP), part of USDA’s broader Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. The pandemic intensified the already significant cost burden undertaken by organic and transitioning producers by choking supply chains and severely hampering reducing labor availability. Certified and transitioning producers can use OTECP funds to cover certification or annual renewal fees or to help defray the costs of working with professional consultants. Funds can also be used for educational events related to organic

Spring 2022 ORGANIC REPORT 18 production, marketing, and increasing resiliency. “As we’ve been listening to folks in the industry about what should be in our transition to organic investment, a big thing that we hear is the need for oneto-one farmer support for transitioning producers,” said Jenny. “I remember when my father transitioned to organic in the 1980s, he really relied on support from other farmers to learn where to get seeds, and for growing guidance. That mentorship is critical for helping farmers transition to organic.” Reducing the barriers to organic certification is critical for continued growth and success. By increasing access to federal support funds facilitating mentorship and learning opportunities, the U.S. can open the doors to a more diverse array of producers from across the country interested in growing organically. “We’re really excited to think about ways to invest that will be transformational—to not only incentivize producers to enter organic, but ensure that they have the tools and support they need from their peers and across the supply chain,” said Marni. “It’s not just about expanding acres, but also about growing the supply chain so that producers can actually get their product to market.” In addition to pandemic assistance programs, organic and transitioning producers can also benefit from an array of existing USDA organic initiatives, including USDA’s Organic Transitions Program, Organic Certification Cost Share Program, and the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative. CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT As the USDA Organic seal enters its twentysecond year, the industry is not content to rest on its laurels. Already the most regulated and rigorous agricultural label claim on the market, the organic industry continues to advocate for updates to organic standards, guidelines, and policies to better keep pace with the needs of a changing marketplace and a changing planet. “We have to allow for change and innovation, and that’s where organic plays such a big role,” says Jenny. “Organic producers have for years been implementing climate smart practices and really leading the way on soil health and environmentally sustainable techniques. There’s an opportunity for all of us to be sharing those practices that work.” In the past 10 years, industry stakeholders have advanced 20 consensus recommendations for improvements to the organic standards, yet USDA’s National Organic Program has not implemented a single one. By clearing the backlog of the industry consensus recommendations and moving forward on long-delayed rulemakings, USDA can strengthen consumers’ faith in the organic seal and spur growth and innovation within the industry. Congress can also help by passing the Continuous Improvement and Accountability in Organic Standards Act, which calls on USDA to develop an action plan for clearing the backlog of NOSB recommendations and creates a system of accountability and transparency for going forward. It will also improve oversight and ensure consistent certification practices and decisions. “We’ve heard loud and clear from stakeholders that they want to see continuous improvement in the standards,” says Marni. “We’re looking forward to providing some next steps on that front very soon.” THE FUTURE OF ORGANIC With the 2023 Farm Bill just around the corner and consumer interest in healthy eating and growing at an all-time high, it’s an exciting time for the organic industry. There will be significant opportunities for organic to become a more engaged, transparent, and equitable industry and community. In closing, Jenny and Marni shared a few thoughts, goals, and aspirations for the future of organic in the years to come. “I’d encourage USDA and the organic industry to really shine a light on what it means to be organic, the people and the practices behind that label claim,” says Jenny. “Show us rotational grazing, show us the practices that are so vital, but consumers might not yet know about. Talk about the nexus of climate smart practices within organic.” Jenny also emphasized her focus on ensuring that organic is part of all the dialogues and work being done across USDA, from crop insurance to research programs. “We need to really integrate organic as part of our nomenclature at USDA so that consumers can recognize it as a key part of American agriculture,” she says. Marni emphasized the positive impact she sees OTCEP having on existing and transitioning producers, and suggested that organic has a key role to play in widespread adoption of climate smart agricultural practices. “My hope would be that we as the organic community embrace the opportunity to do the hard work around equity and that we embrace the opportunity to be a shining star on climate work,” says Marni. “In the past, organic has sometimes been perceived as small or on the fringe. I want organic to have a meaningful seat at the table.” Reana Kovalcik is Director of Public Affairs for the Organic Trade Association. Leadership

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Spring 2022 ORGANIC REPORT 20 Transitioning to Organic to Combat Climate Change ORGANIC FARMERS are the only farmers required by law to conserve soil, water, wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife. Maintaining these natural resources is critical because organic farmers rely on nutrients in the soil instead of synthetic fertilizers to feed their crops, and they use ecological rather than chemical methods to control pests, weeds, and disease. Not only is building ecological balance good for farmers’ bottom line, but it is also a key climate strategy. Long-term studies demonstrate the climate benefits of organic. A University of California-Davis Long-Term Research on Agricultural Systems study found that after 10 years, organic systems resulted in 14 times the rate of carbon sequestration as the conventional system. Nationally, the largest study comparing organic and conventional soils in 48 states found that organic farms have 13% higher soil organic matter than conventional farms. If organic is a solution to climate change, why aren’t more farmers transitioning? In part, it’s because transitioning land to organic is tough. To transition land to organic, farmers and ranchers cannot apply prohibited materials, including synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, to the land for three years prior to their first organic harvest. Farmers do not receive the premium organic price during this three-year transition period, and can experience yield losses and higher costs as the soil adjusts to ecological management and the farmer learns and invests in new practices. Ranchers face a higher cost of feed and new animal healthcare requirements that focus on preventative rather than diagnostic care. CCOF is working to support more transition to organic to combat climate change. CCOF Foundation is currently giving $10,000 grants to small-scale farmers and farmers from the Latinx communities in the Central Coast of California to transition to organic with the intention of expanding this grant program to other socially disadvantaged farmer communities. The CCOF policy team is building on the Foundation’s grant program by advocating for state investment in California to support: • Direct assistance for farmers and ranchers to implement multiple organic practices that build healthy soils while offsetting the economic risk of transitioning • Organic research, mentorship, and technical assistance that optimize organic systems and support a diversity of farmers and ranchers to go organic • Expansion of markets for organic food, creating opportunities for new and existing organic farmers and ranchers CCOF is also working closely with the Organic Trade Association to support organic transition at USDA. Throughout our efforts, we are pushing for investment in technical assistance and market development to support all organic producers. We are excited to partner with farmers and ranchers to realize organic’s full potential as a climate solution. Learn more at www.ccof.org. This article was prepared by Rebekah Weber, CCOF Policy Director. References Kong, A. Y., Six, J., Bryant, D. C., Denison, R. F., & Van Kessel, C. (2005). The relationship between carbon input, aggregation, and soil organic carbon stabilization in sustainable cropping systems. Soil Sci Soc Am J., 69, 1078-1085. Ghabbour, E. A., Davies, G., Misiewicz, T., Alami, R. A., Askounis, E. M., Cuozzo, N.P., Shade, J. (2017). Chapter one—national comparison of the total and sequestered organic matter contents of conventional and organic farm soil. Advances in Agronomy, 146, 1-35. Update from CCOF, Inc.