Organic Food And Agriculture Essay Sample
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National Organic Program, USDA. What is Organic?
Answer: Organic is the authentication seal for food and agricultural products that are grown in accordance to the USDA organic regulations, and the farming methods foster the cultural, biological, mechanical practices to conserve biodiversity, promote ecological balance, and by cycling of resources.
Under what conditions can the USDA organic seal are used?
Answer: The USDA organic seal are used to sell, label, or represent the organic products after the USDA accredited certifying agencies ensure and approve that the operational activities and products of organic farmers, ranchers, distributors, processors, and traders are strictly complying with the USDA regulatory guidelines, and qualify for the USDA organic standards.
Suppose you were considering buying organic poultry and you saw competing (non-organic) poultry product labeled “no added hormones.” What would you think of this competing claim?
Answer: I think the poultry must be free from hormones because, under the federal regulation, hormones are not permitted to be added in poultry. (National Organic Program., 2012)
National Organic Program, USDA. FAQ: Becoming a Certified Operation:
What are the four (big) things that may not be used in organic agriculture?
Answer: Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used in organic agriculture.
Suppose you are a small farm growing a few crops using organic methods. Do you need to get USDA certification to use the word “organic” in any marketing or sales materials?
Answer: Small farms with gross agricultural income below $5000 per year are an exempted category for USDA organic certification to label, sell, or represent the organic word. However, I must abide by the other USDA organic regulations.
Is USDA organic certification free? If not, what can you tell me about certification costs?
Answer: The USDA certification is not free of charges.
The certification costs vary widely on the fee structure and billing cycle of the USDA accredited certifying agents, and also depends on the size, type, and complexity of the operator. The certification fees or costs include application fee, annual renewal charges, evaluation of annual production or sales, and inspection charges. (National Organic Program., 2014)
Supposed you, a small farmer, became convinced that you wanted to convert to organic methods immediately. How long, if at all, would you have to wait before you could sell certified organic products?
Answer: In order to sell certified organic products, I have to wait for a full 36-months transition period to ensure that there is no prohibited substance applied to the land towards the production of organic food.
Emerging Issues in the U.S. Organic Industry, USDA/ERS, June 2009:
Demand and supply shortfall: Lack of consumer demand, lack of reliable supplies for organic raw materials is a major challenge towards the growth of U.S. organic industry.
Low adaption level of organic agriculture: Organic farming is not adopted widely even in recent years. In 2005, 0.5% of the U.S. cropland, and 0.5% of U.S pasture were only certified organic. (Greene, et al., 2009)
High production cost: After accounting the influences of different factors on production cost, including the organic transition costs, production cost of organic products is much higher than the convention products.
National Organic Program. (2012, October 17). Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/ams.fetchTemplateData.do?template=TemplateC&navID=NationalOrganicProgram&leftNav=NationalOrganicProgram&page=NOPConsumers&description=Consumers&acct=nopgeninfo.
National Organic Program. (2014, January 28). Retrieved February 10, 2015, from
http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/ams.fetchTemplateData.do?template=TemplateN&navID=NOPFAQsHowCertified&topNav=&leftNav=NationalOrganicProgram&page=NOPFAQsHowCertified&description=FAQ: Becoming Certified Operation &acct=nopgeninfo.
Greene, C., Dimitri, C., Lin, B., McBride, W., Oberholtzer, L., & Smith, T. (2009, June). Emerging Issues in the U.S. Organic Industry. Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/155923/eib55_1_.pdf.
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