Changes Proposed to National List of Organic Inputs
The USDA National Organic Program recently announced proposed changes to the
National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.The proposed changes are based
on October 2020 and April 2021 recommendations from the the National Organic
Standards Board (NOSB). Proposed changes include:
Allowing paper pots for use as a planting aid in organic crop production.
Allowing low-acyl gellan gum for use as a thickener, gelling agent, or stabilizer in
organic food processing.
Correcting a spelling error on the National List to change “wood resin” to “wood rosin.”
The National List identifies the synthetic substances allowed and the natural substances
prohibited in organic farming. It also identifies nonagricultural and nonorganic
agricultural substances that may be used in organic handling. Any change to the
National List requires a recommendation from the NOSB. The NOSB is the federal
advisory board charged with advising USDA leadership about the National List and
other matters. After NOSB recommendation, USDA rule-making with multiple
opportunities for public comment follow.
The USDA welcomes comments on the proposed amendments until April 4, 2022. To
review and comment on the proposed changes, please go to: http://go.hawaii.edu/rZV
Organic Produce Sales Growth in 2021
Organic fresh produce sales value grew by 5.5% in 2021, while volume grew by just
over 2%. While these numbers were more modest than expected, growth in organic
produce outpaced conventionally grown produce in year-over-year gains in both sales
and volume, according to a recently release report by Organic Produce Network and
Category Partners. Organic produce passed the the $9 billion mark for the first time
ever in 2021.
Organic fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
registered the greatest growth, with a 14 percent gain in sales and a 10 percent rise in
volume. Packaged salads dropped in volume in 2021, but increased in sales value due
to one of the highest organic price premiums ($3.11/lb.) over conventional. Significant
price premiums were also recorded in organic berries which sold for $2.50-$3.00 more
per pound over conventional. Organic bananas, in contrast, continued to have one of
the smallest price premiums at $0.15/lb. However, organic bananas continued to be
sold in the greatest volume of all organic produce, with 547 million pounds sold in 2021.
The 2021 Organic Produce Performance Report utilized Nielsen retail scan data
covering total food sales and outlets in the US from January through December 2021. A
summary of the report is available here: http://go.hawaii.edu/VZ7