Pingree Applauds USDA Efforts to Enhance Organic Markets and Support Producers
Washington, May 10, 2023
Tags: Food and Agriculture
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), a longtime organic farmer and member of the House Agriculture Committee and House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, today applauded the additional steps taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to strengthen the market for domestically grown organic goods, and to support producers seeking organic certification. Pingree released the following statement:
“Organic agriculture is crucial to build a more resilient and sustainable food system, but making that transition can be difficult. Conventional farmers need our support through the organic certification process and beyond. Returning to 75% for the organic certification cost share will help farmers entering or renewing their organic certification, and the new Organic Market Development Grants will help organic producers enter new markets and take home a greater share of the food dollar. As my House Agriculture Committee colleagues and I work support organic producers in the upcoming Farm Bill, I’m thrilled that the Biden Administration and USDA are also encouraging farmers to adopt practices that are both food for the environment and their bottom lines.”
These newly announced funding opportunities are part of USDA’s Organic Transition Initiative, launched in fall 2022, which is a suite of offerings to help existing organic farmers and those transitioning to organic production and processing. In June 2022, Pingree hosted USDA Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt in Brunswick to discuss the USDA’s $2 billion investment to strengthen food supply chains and transform the American food system to be fairer, more competitive, and more resilient. At a roundtable event, Pingree and Moffitt discussed the newly announced Organic Transition Initiative with organic farmers from across Maine. Find more information about the announcement here.