Tell the USDA to Stop Clucking Around with Organic Standards!
By: Joseph O’Connor
September 23, 2022
The Organic label should reflect consumer expectations–including animal welfare.
We all think we know what “organic” means when we see it on a label. When it comes to meat, that includes giving animals plenty of space and time outside.
Unfortunately, there are fewer rules than you might think, especially for poultry. That has allowed some farmers to follow the letter, if not the spirit of the rules, weakening the credibility of the Organic standard and the Organic label we all know and, should, trust.
The good news? The USDA has proposed a new rule that would improve the lives of all farm animals, including limiting the number of animals in each barn and ensuring that organic chickens have true access to the outdoors.
The bad news? While most of the rules would go into effect within a year, Big Ag and powerful lobbyists, led largely by major egg producers, want to wait 15 years to implement the outdoor access rules for chickens.
Yes, you read that right: 15 years! Our families cannot wait until 2037 to have trust in the product we buy.
At Applegate Farms, our Applegate Humanely Raised standard maintains strict standards for animal welfare. And, that's even more important when you consider that less than one percent of meat sold in the U.S. is organic!
We want the organic industry to grow, and grow responsibly by protecting and enforcing organic standards.
And now the really good news! As part of the USDA rulemaking process, we all have a chance to weigh in on these essential regulations to protect animals and the organic standard. Will you join us in taking a stand to protect organic standards for the meat we eat?
Make your voice heard! CLICK HERE to join us in sending a message to the USDA that lets them know you care about organic and animal welfare and that you believe these rules need to be part of the Organic standard NOW.
You can also read more about the rules from our partners at the Organic Trade Association. OTA has also created a sample comment that you can adapt and submit to the USDA right from their site.
And rest assured, no matter what the USDA decides, Applegate already meets and exceeds the proposed rules. And we remain committed to raising the bar for Organic, which by our definition includes raising animals humanely. You can see our commitment here.
* The deadline to register was extended until 11:59 PM EST on Nov. 10.
Joseph O’Connor is the president of Applegate Farms and proudly leads the company in its mission – Changing The Meat We Eat®. His dedication to raising the bar for clean, consciously crafted meat inspires the Applegate team to continue to seek ways to deliver crave-worthy products that will satisfy people, planet and palate.