As the Coalition for Sustainable Organics, we advocate for the continued allowance of containerized growing methods under the National Organic Program. Our advocacy is grounded in three important truths.
The Case For Organic Containerized Growing
Containerized Organic Growing is Sustainable
Containerized growing allows for the recapture and reuse of water resulting in efficiencies that reduce water use by up to 90 percent per pound of fresh produce and allows farmers to grow up to 10 times more organic produce per square foot per year than open field systems.
It significantly reduces, and in some cases eliminates, soil erosion and nutrient runoff to greatly reduce environmental pollution.
It’s expected that climate change will relocate, and in many cases disrupt, crop production. Containerized growing opens new and reliable production possibilities for local and urban agriculture to help conserve precious land. And with year-round production cycles, independent of climate and weather, containerized growing provides the opportunity for full-time agriculture careers supported by a living wage.
Containerized Organic Growing is Legitimate
Produce grown in containers, following USDA standards, is every bit as organic as produce grown in the ground.
Certified organic containerized growing practices meet the letter and intent of the current law. Our growers adhere to the USDA organic standards under the National Organic Program and have done so for more than 25 years. They grow produce only in organic matter that is just as organic and natural as soil, and rely on the same natural inputs as open field growers to nourish crops. Federally approved third-parties then certify that the crops are organic.
The end product is fresh, organic produce that helps build a healthier future for both consumers and the environment.
Containerized Organic Growing is Sensible
Current organic standards – which allow for containerized organic produce – have worked well since they were adopted in 1990 as part of the Organic Foods Production Act. The USDA conducted an extensive evaluation of these standards in 2010 through the National Organic Program and affirmed the legitimacy of organic produce grown through containerized methods.
Changing rules that have worked for more than 25 years, especially at this time, is irresponsible and bad for consumers.