Port Negotiations & Organic Survey

Port Negotiations & Organic Survey

Port Negotiations & Organic Survey

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

Ag producers and businesses continue to write their Congressional delegates asking for help in getting the West Coast ports up and running again. More than 600 farmers and ag interests in Washington and Oregon sent such letters last week, setting off a chain of events that resulted in President Obama sending the Secretary of Labor Tom Perez to San Francisco to initiate face-to-face negotiations with the ILWU and the PMA. This week 507 California producers and businesses followed suit, delivering a letter to the California Congressional Delegation. Port slowdowns and disruptions have caused huge financial losses to exporters and is now jeopardizing future contracts with foreign markets.

In order to help develop programs for organic producers the USDA is conducting an organic survey to gather detailed data on U.S. organic agriculture production. Michele Catalano with the Tilth Producers of Washington says that there is an increasing interest in organic agriculture among producers, businesses and consumers.

CATALANO: The organic label has really become much more standard on the food scene - that USDA label that signifies certified organic by the National Organic Program. There's more and more retailers that are specializing in or carrying organic products. There's more companies that want to get into the organic world by adding organic product lines. And we're seeing that locally as well. We know that over the last ten years organic acreage in Washington state has doubled. It's now up close to 90,000 acres. And Washington continues to be a leader in producing organic products.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.

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