Organic Group Turns Checkoff Failure Into Opportunity
Facing obstacles from government agencies, one organization is striking out on its own
The organic food industry may have found a new motto when it comes to federally supported checkoff programs: If you can’t join ’em, start your own.
That appears to be the lesson the Organic Trade Association took after a proposal to create a government-backed checkoff program went off the rails at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In May, USDA concluded there wasn’t consensus in the industry on the proposal, which was broadly supported among smaller companies but struggled to win the backing of larger growers, according to AgWeb. The decision was a disappointment for OTA, which had advocated for the program.
The association began looking for alternatives and ultimately decided to run a voluntary checkoff program of its own that would support industry research, promotion, and education.
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