The Real Organic Project Creates A New Food Label

The Lempert Report
July 03, 2018

Just about a month ago a group of farmers and scientists met in Vermont to write new standards for another organic certification program, which adds more specifics to our food labels

The label will launch this summer with between 20 and 60 farms and the farms themselves would add the label after being certified by an inspector. 

This new label would list as examples that a tomato has been grown in soil, or  that meat and dairy products came from farms that pasture their animals. 

Why do we need yet another label? Well, it’s a result of a controversy we shared with you when the National Organic Standard Board, which advises the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a few months ago voted against a proposal to exclude from the USDA’s organic certification program hydroponics and aquaponics. The farmers don’t want to see the USDA Organic label on foods grown in water. The new label would exclude from certification hydroponic farming and large livestock farms that don’t pasture their animals, known as contained animal feeding operations or CAFOs. 

“I think that a lot of farmers, especially young farmers, feel that the organic label no longer describes the way they farm, and we’re trying to recapture that,” Linley Dixon, a vegetable farmer in Durango, Colorado, told The Denver Post. She is senior scientist for Cornucopia Institute, who is also on the standards board of the Real Organic Project. 

Dave Chapman, a member of the executive and standards board of the Real Organic Project and owner of an organic tomato farm in Thetford also told the Post that “Some of the cornerstones of what organic means are being taken away, and we’re concerned about how creaky that makes the whole thing,” He believes the cornerstone of being organic is growing in soil and improving its fertility.

Let the confusion begin.