- The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has endorsed introducing the Organic Market Development (OMD) Act in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
- The OMD Act aims to leverage investments in organic markets by funding increased processing capacity, market development activities, and targeted equipment purchases.
- The legislation addresses supply chain gaps and supports organic farmers and businesses, offering grants administered by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.
- The Act maintains existing funding of $75 million annually and provides additional authorization for appropriations of $15 million for 2024 and each fiscal year after that.
- The OMD Act is seen as a key step in ensuring the continued growth of the organic sector in the United States, which reached over $67 billion in market size.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has supported the newly introduced Organic Market Development (OMD) Act. The legislation, introduced in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, aims to unlock the potential of the organic marketplace and ensure its continued growth in the United States.
The OMD Act was introduced in the Senate by Senators Tammy Baldwin, Angus King, Peter Welch, and Kirsten Gillibrand and in the House by Representatives Anne Kuster, Chellie Pingree, and Andrea Salinas. The Act aims to leverage investments in new and expanded organic markets by funding and supporting increased processing capacity, market development activities, targeted equipment purchases, and other activities. The legislation codifies an existing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program and creates a development program administered by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service to offer annual grants to eligible applicants.
Addressing Supply Chain Gaps
Tom Chapman, CEO of the OTA, emphasized that the OMD Act is fundamentally about solving supply chain gaps to support organic farmers and businesses. “With the strategic investments offered in the OMD Act, the organic community can unlock the potential of the organic marketplace and continue the growth trend,” said Chapman.
The OMD Act maintains the existing funding of $75 million annually through the Commodity Credit Corporation. Additionally, it provides for an authorization for appropriations of $15 million for 2024 and each fiscal year thereafter. This financial backing is expected to enable more domestic producers to capitalize on the robust organic market, which has grown to over $67 billion.
Challenges and Opportunities
The demand for organic products continues to grow, but the growth has outpaced the infrastructure development needed for organic farmers and businesses. The OMD Act addresses challenges such as lack of processing capacity, uncertain market access, and an insufficient supply of certain organic ingredients.