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USDA Proposes Industry-Funded Promotion, Research Program For Organic Products
Organic Handlers, Producers With Sales Of More Than $250,000 Would Pay Assessment; Comments Sought
Washington—USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) on Tuesday proposed the creation of an industry-funded promotion, research, and information program for certified organic products.
The proposed Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order would cover a range of certified organic agricultural products, including dairy products.
The proposed order would also cover organic imports, both those certified under the USDA organic regulations and those entering the US under an organic equivalency arrangement.
Under the proposed order, certified organic producers and certified organic handlers with gross sales in excess of $250,000 for the previous marketing year of certified organic agricultural commodities would pay an assessment of one-tenth of 1 percent of net organic sales.
Importers importing greater than $250,000 in transaction value of organic products for the previous marketing year would pay an assessment of one-tenth of 1 percent of the transaction value of certified organic products reported to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Producers, handlers, and importers that fall below these these thresholds could choose to pay assessments into the program as a “voluntarily assessed” entity.
The proposed program would be administered by a board of assessment payers and one public member appointed by the US secretary of agriculture.
The board would be comprised of 17 seats as follows: eight certified organic producer seats (including a voluntarily assessed producer), seven certified organic handler seats, one importer seat, and one at-large public member, who would be a
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