Organic Coffee is safe, for now.
In a victory for organic farmers in the developing world, the USDA's National Organic Program has backed down and said that for now there will be no immediate change in the way these farmers are certified.
The NOP had previously announced that it was changing certification procedures for these farms. The change would have increased costs sharply and choked off the supply of organic coffee, cocoa and other crops grown by farming co-ops in the Third World, an issue I wrote about on Salon.com.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the NOP said it would work closely with the National Organic Standards Board - the citizens advisory panel on organic regulations - before making any changes. This comes after a petition campaign which generated thousands of signatures, even in the absence of any major media coverage.
For those who think organic regulations have been compromised by big business, this shows - as other actions have in the past - that transparency and advocacy work.
The NOP statement can be read in full here.
- Samuel Fromartz