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“We, by our choices, have the power to make or destroy the world. We have to wake up.”

– Arran Stephens, Real Organic Project symposium

 

A map of the United States with red and blue markers where farms are located.

Red dots: 500 Certified ROP Pilot Farms
Blue dots: 350 Ready for Inspection this summer

Help us Grow the Real Organic Movement to 1,000 farms!

 

Dear Real Organic friends,

Organic farms across the country are losing market share. Some are going out of business, others are forced into direct marketing.

Not all organic farms. Just the farms wholesaling products with weak organic enforcement: organic grain, organic dairy, organic poultry, organic soil-grown tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and greens.

That’s a lot of organic products you can’t trust! That’s a lot of organic farmers experiencing the downward pressure on prices.

Another result of a weakening organic label has been the rise of alternative labels in the market. American Humane Certified, Non-GMO, Grass-fed, 100% Grass Fed, Pastured, Free Range. Did you know all those labels allow chemical farming? Confused yet?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just look for an organic label and know that it also stood for soil health, real pasture, and organic inputs? The farmers think so too! So that’s why we’re bringing you the Real Organic Project label.

Farmers across the country are already using the label. To help us have a stronger influence in the market and create change at the National Organic Program, we have a very important ask:
help us get to 1,000 Real Organic Project certified farms!

A photo of a jar of tomatoes with red tomatoes and a black white and green label that reads "1000 Stone Farm" and underneath reads "Organic Tomato Sauce"

“Resilience is in the soil and for this reason we choose to be certified through the Real Organic Project, so we can ensure a better future for our children.”

-Kyle Doda, 1000 Stone Farm, a Real Organic Project Farm

Real Organic Project has always been a community wide effort to create a certified organic food system with integrity. A certification that is about the health of our soils, animals and environment.

Over the last three years, we have built a community of farmers and eaters that believe in upholding these values.

The majority of our certified farms hear about Real Organic Project from other community members – today we are reaching out to our community asking for your help in getting to 1,000 total certified farms by this time next year!

We are well on our way – we have about 500 farms certified and 350 approved for inspection this growing season. Before we start traveling to farms in June, we would love to have 150 more farms approved and ready to visit.

To reach this goal we need you to reach out to the farms that are your peers, friends, community members or suppliers to ask them to join the movement for organic transparency by becoming Real Organic Project certified.

There are many ways you can do this. The simplest is to reach out to any certified organic farmer you know and ask them to apply on our website: realorganicproject.org/apply. If the farmer would prefer a paper application we are happy to send them one.

 

A photo of two plastic containers filled with small red cherry tomatoes with a label for Lady Moon Farms

“The organic farmers who helped create and shape the organic movement as we know it do not want to give up on the name ‘Organic’. It means something. And it’s not hydroponic, it’s not CAFOs. It might have the USDA certified organic logo on it, but we know that that’s not Real Organic.”

– Anais Beddard, Lady Moon Farm, a Real Organic Project farm. You can find Lady Moon’s tasty soil grownReal Organic grape tomatoes at New England Whole Foods and co-ops.


A fresh mozzarella label for Radiance Farms with a blue sky, sun with rays, green and brown lines like grass and soil and in the center a picture of a dairy cow.

“‘The Real Organic Project can alert consumers about milk that truly comes from grass based farms.”

– Francis Thicke, Radiance Dairy, a Real Organic Project Farm.

Two farmers stand in a field of garlic and other plants while holding farm tool

Transplants from Katie Nixon and Ken Barber of Green Gate Family Farm, a Real Organic Project farm, are at Whole Foods in Missouri this spring.

Two retail sized bags of whole grains with Askegaard Organics logo and Real Organic Project logo

“Hydroponics, CAFOS, and fraudulent organic grain being imported. Will there be any truly organic farmers left in this country after the government has had their way with us? I’ve placed my hope in the Real Organic Project to help turn things around.

“There has been a tremendous downward pressure on organic grain prices, which I am sure is happening in the livestock and produce sectors as well.

“The Real Organic Project reaffirms everything that we have been witnessing in the organic industry.”

– Mark Askegaard,
Askegaard Organic, A Real Organic Project Farm

If you would be interested in posting, or handing out literature about Real Organic Project, please reply to this newsletter and we will send you brochures and/or posters you can distribute. Real Organic Project was started by a concerned and committed community of farmers and eaters and we can only continue to grow with your active support

Our community continues to build. Real organic farming is the alternative to industrial organic. Please join 850 farms and help us build the wave to 1,000.

Together,
Linley and Ariel

Real Organic farmer Adam Kemp at Uff-Da Organics grows strawberries, baby greens, herbs and garlic in Northern MN

“The whole economic landscape is changing. More and more of the certified organic production of berries, tomatoes, peppers, herbs and greens is becoming hydroponic. If given an honest choice, I think this trend will reverse.”

-Dave Chapman, Long Wind Farm

A glass jar filled with almond butter and a logo reading Full Belly Farm Almond Butter

There is not one minute to waste! Honestly, I feel that stronger and stronger everyday, that we can’t just sit back anymore. We need to have action today.”

-Dru Rivers, Full Belly Farm

A green bunch of asparagus with a plastic label reading "Full Belly Farm Asparagus. Product of the U.S.A. Real Organic Project"

“We need all ideas on deck to begin to get farmers in the mindset of putting more carbon into the soil and reducing the carbon footprint of our food system. If these concepts aren’t backed with market support and financial support, then it is again a burden dropped on farmers to pay for the costs of being ‘regenerative’ for market access. If there is no definition, shared investment in that definition, standards, and verification, – all things that Organic has carefully put into place over the past 40 years- then it is just marketing.”

-Paul Muller, Full Belly Farm

A clear bag filled with orange carrots and a label reading "Full Belly Farm Nantes Carrots. Product of the U.S.A. Real Organic Project"

“Organic is so much more than a set of things that we do not use. Organic is a very proactive process.”

-Judith Redmond, Full Belly Farm

Two brown bags with clear windows showing black eyed peas and cranberry beans with label reading "Full Belly Farm. Certified Organic since 1995. Guinda, California. Real Organic Project"

Our community continues to build. Real organic farming is the alternative to industrial agriculture. Please join 1000 Real Fans and help to build the wave. Together.

Updated: You can still watch recordings until July from our January symposium by clicking here.