On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it has finalized the long-awaited Origin of Livestock rule, an important step forward in protecting organic dairy farmers’ livelihoods and the integrity of the organic seal.
The newly published rule determines which animals can be considered organic and produce organic milk, closing a loophole in enforcement that has caused unfair competition and economic distress for organic dairy producers. Specifically, the rule states that:
- New organic dairies and those transitioning to organic, are allowed to transition non-organic animals ONCE.
- Once a dairy is certified organic, animals must be managed as organic from the last third of gestation.
For years, NOFA-NY has joined organic producers, regional, and national partners in calling for the USDA to take swift action to finalize this rule adding a measure of fairness and integrity to organic. We must now call on USDA to ensure strong and uniform enforcement and continue to advocate for fair markets for organic producers.
Persistent advocacy from the organic community has made this win possible! Thank you for your ongoing support.