The federal government is taking comments on a recently proposed plan to conduct annual reviews of organic certification organizations across the U.S.
The Department of Agriculture will take comments for 60 days on its proposal, which would authorize the National Agricultural Statistics Service to review the various organizations that certify farms and ranches as organic. Citing a notice in the Federal Register, the Food and Environment Reporting Network’s Chuck Abbott reported that NASS will publish studies chronicling the results of its reviews as well as further details about the activities of organic producers.
“The survey will ask for information from all organizations that certify farm and ranch operations that have met the Federal standards to be classified as organic producers,” the notice states. “The survey will collect the number of operations that are certified organic for each State, along with the number of acres certified for the various crops, and the number of head of livestock and poultry certified as organic.”
By surveying the certifying organizations, the USDA says it hopes “that future needs to collect organic data from farm and ranch operations can be kept to a minimum.”
The reviews will result in the creation of annual state-level summaries of data on individual major organic commodities.