Blogs | January 2016

New Businesses Emerge as Demand for Organic Grows

The first fast-food chain certified organic by the USDA is receiving rave reviews. The Organic Coup, conceived by former Costco executive, Erica Welton, opened its first location in Pleasanton, California in 2015. The menu is simple: organic, air-chilled chicken fried in coconut oil and served as a sandwich, wrap or bowl.

In a recent article in Business Insider, Welton said, "We saw this huge shift happening at Costco with people purchasing more and more organic food." While the increased availability of organic ingredients is great, Welton provides a convenient organic option for those times when cooking is out of the question.

New Ruling Provides Exemption from Commodity Checkoff Programs

A new ruling, published by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service on December 31, 2015, exempts organic farmers and handlers from paying into commodity checkoff programs. USDA has estimated that the expanded exemption would save the organic industry $13.6 million.

Kathleen Merrigan on List of Influential Women in Agriculture

OFRF Advisory Committee member, Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, was included on Food Tank’s list of 27 influential women in food and agriculture. The announcement was made on January 28th.

Merrigan currently serves as Executive Director of Sustainability at George Washington University, where she leads the GWU Sustainability Collaborative and GWU Food Institute, and serves as Professor of Public Policy.