|New USDA report shows direct-to-consumer food sales way up|
Ethicurean - 6/17/2009.A flea on the elephant’s back: The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has released a new report on sales from direct-to-consumer food marketing (things like farmers markets and CSAs), using data from the last Census of Agriculture. The good news: sales were up 104.7% from 1997 to 2007, compared with an increase of 47.6% for total agriculture sales. (All six New England states made the top 10 list.) And now the bad news: even when you subtract non-food crops from the total agriculture sales figures, direct-to-consumer food marketing has only an 0.8% share.
|Food safety sweep|
Ethicurean - 6/17/2009.House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Henry Waxman certainly had his ducks in a row today, as a sweeping food safety bill, H.R. 2749, passed unanimously out of the committee. There will be lots more analysis in the coming days, but here’s what we’ve gathered thus far: In many respects, this bill is a vast improvement over the status quo.
|Food safety: how local can you go?|
Grist - 6/17/2009.By Robynn Shrader – The Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 (FSEA) draft, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Waxman on May 26, 2009 and is expected to move quickly through the House. Consumers, farmers, and manufacturers alike all appear to be for a food safety bill, so the question is not whether a bill will be approved, but whether it will make our food safer.
|Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan announces U.S. – Canada agreement for organic trade equivalence|
USDA - 6/17/2009.Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced that a first-of-its-kind agreement has been reached between the United States and Canada that will expand opportunities for organic producers in both countries. The "equivalency agreement" follows a review by both nations of the other's organic certification program and a determination that products meeting the standard in the United States can be sold as organic in Canada, and vice versa. Merrigan made this announcement at the All Things Organic Trade Show and Conference in Chicago this morning.