Real Organic Podcast

Jim Riddle: Lobbyists Not Farmers Have Access To USDA

September 12, 2023 Real Organic Project Episode 133
Real Organic Podcast
Jim Riddle: Lobbyists Not Farmers Have Access To USDA
Show Notes

#133: Retired Minnesota berry farmer and founder of the International Organic Inspectors Association Jim Riddle discusses his time on the National Organic Standards Board, including observing the culture of a revolving door of corporate lobbyists.

Jim Riddle is the founder of Blue Fruit Farm, an organic blueberry farm in Minnesota, as well as the Winona Farmers Market and the International Organic Inspectors Association. He has served on the National Organic Standards Board in a farmer seat, and on the Real Organic Project Advisory Board.

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The Real Organic Podcast is hosted by Dave Chapman and Linley Dixon, engineered by Brandon StCyr, and edited and produced by Jenny Prince.

The Real Organic Project is a farmer-led movement working towards certifying 1,000 farms across the United States this year. Our add-on food label distinguishes soil-grown fruits and vegetables from hydroponically-raised produce, and pasture-raised meat, milk, and eggs from products harvested from animals in horrific confinement (CAFOs - confined animal feeding operations).

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We believe that the organic standards, with their focus on soil health, biodiversity, and animal welfare were written as they should be, but that the current lack of enforcement of those standards is jeopardizing the ability for small farms who adhere to the law to stay in business. The lack of enforcement is also jeopardizing the overall health of the customers who support the organic movement; customers who are not getting what they pay for at market but still paying a premium price. And the lack of enforcement is jeopardizing the very cycles (water, air, nutrients) that Earth relies upon to provide us all with a place to live, by pushing extractive, chemical agriculture to the forefront.

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